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Similac Lawsuit

A Similac lawsuit is a claim filed against Abbott Laboratories after preterm infants who consumed cow’s milk Similac baby formula developed necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a potentially fatal illness. Plaintiffs say Abbott failed to warn the public about the risk and sold a dangerous product.

This is an active lawsuit

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If your baby developed NEC after being fed Similac or Enfamil, you may be entitled to compensation. Get a free case review today.

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Last Modified: June 3, 2024
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Latest Similac Lawsuit Updates

As of June 2024, there were a total of 514 Similac and Enfamil lawsuits filed in multidistrict litigation. Pending cases in MDL 3026 are in the Northern District of Illinois before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer. 

These lawsuits allege infants developed necrotizing enterocolitis as a result of infant formula. Claims assert the defendants failed to warn the public of the risks of dairy-based infant formula.

Status of NEC Similac Lawsuits

  • May 2024: Judge Pallmeyer issued an order that required all plaintiffs to provide evidence injured infants consumed Enfamil or another Mead Johnson product before naming the company in a lawsuit. So far, there isn’t a similar order for Similac plaintiffs.
  • February 2024: Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer scheduled hearings that involve several plaintiffs in MDL 3026 on sealed/private motions for March 2024.
  • November 2023: There were no approved settlements or jury verdicts and litigation is in the early stages.
  • July 2023: More cases have been transferred into the MDL from across the country and litigation continues.
  • April 2023: Parties needed to submit a brief on outstanding discovery proceeding issues to the court by April 25, 2023.
  • March 2023: The judge scheduled science day proceedings for May 3, 2023 to allow the parties to present an overview of scientific and medical theories to the court.
  • December 2022: Defendants selected four cases for bellwether test trials: Clarke, Cresap, Inman and Mar.
  • October 2022: Plaintiffs selected four bellwether test trials: Brown, Diggs, Lopez and Koeth. Randomly selected bellwether cases are: McCarthy, Jacobs, Kelton and Donaldson.

Lawyers speculated the first trials could take place in the NEC MDL in 2024.

There is also a separate class action MDL 3037 in Illinois for Abbott’s recalled infant formulas. These cases are unrelated to the NEC formula lawsuits.

Why Similac Lawsuits Are Being Filed

Parents, families and caregivers are filing Similac lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories because they claim the maker of Similac baby formula failed to warn them that its cow’s milk products could increase the risk of preemies or low birth weight infants developing necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC.

According to Similac lawsuits, defendants knew or should have known of the NEC risk because studies as far back as 1990 showed that NEC was more common in preterm infants who consumed formula versus breast milk. One study said it was six to 10 times more common in exclusively formula-fed babies than babies who were breastfed. Another study put that number at a 20 times greater risk for preemies fed formula versus breast milk.

Claims in Similac Lawsuits Include:
  • Breach of warranty
  • Negligence
  • Failure to warn about the risk of NEC
  • Product is dangerous and defective

Parents and caregivers are seeking compensation for medical bills, their child’s loss of quality of life, funeral expenses for infants who died from NEC complications and other damages.

Similac Formulas Named in Lawsuit

All Similac baby formula products made with cow’s milk may potentially be named in Similac lawsuits.

Some of these products, such as Similac Human Milk Fortifier, may have names that don’t sound like cow’s milk is an ingredient. Parents and caregivers should read the product’s ingredients label to look for cow’s milk.

Similac formulas named in lawsuits include:
  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein- Concentrated Liquid

If you aren’t sure whether the Similac formula your baby consumed qualifies, speak to a lawyer. Lawyers taking Similac lawsuit cases can tell you whether the formula is a part of ongoing lawsuits.

Keep any leftover Similac baby formula for evidence in your potential case. If you have medical records and receipts, those will also be important evidence in any NEC lawsuit claim you file.

Who Qualifies to File a Similac Lawsuit?

Families and caregivers of preterm infants who consumed Similac baby formula and later developed NEC may qualify to file a Similac lawsuit. Babies were most likely fed Similac while recovering in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit or after being discharged. Most baby formula side effects are mild and go away after a baby gets used to formula, but premature infants with NEC become very ill, require a lot of care and could potentially die.

Baby Granville was born prematurely in an Indiana hospital on June 13, 2017, and later developed NEC after consuming a Similac baby formula product, according to a 2023 Similac lawsuit filed by his mother, Shelbi Singh. While in the NICU, Baby Granville began feeding on Similac Human Milk Fortifier along with breast milk.

A few days later, he developed bloody stool, one of the first signs of NEC. He suffered from serious complications, including sepsis and abdominal distension. He didn’t improve with bowel rest. After surgery, doctors determined he had developed septic shock from colonic strictures. Despite doctors’ efforts, Baby Granville died a little over a month after he was born of complications from NEC.

“Prior to Baby Granville’s birth, Defendants were aware or should have been aware that its Cow’s Milk-Based Products were not safe for use, as they were used, as nutrition or nutritional support in preterm infants, yet they took no steps to prevent the use of these products in such situations,” according to the lawsuit.

How to File a Similac Lawsuit

If you are considering filing a Similac lawsuit, your first step should be to hire an experienced lawyer instead of filing on your own. A lawyer can help walk you through the complicated and emotional process of getting compensation for your baby’s sickness or death from Similac-induced NEC.

  • Step 1: Seek a free consultation with a baby formula lawsuit lawyer.
  • Step 2: Your lawyer will file your Similac lawsuit.
  • Step 3: Collect all evidence to help strengthen your claim against Abbott.
  • Step 4: Your lawyer will walk you through any necessary court filings.
  • Step 5: Your lawyer will argue your case in court or negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

An experienced product liability lawyer can help you fight large companies such as Abbott. They have the knowledge and resources to take on big corporations.

Your lawyer can help take the stress out of the filing process so you can concentrate on healing with your family.

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Similac vs. Enfamil Lawsuits

People are filing Similac and Enfamil lawsuits for similar reasons, but Similac lawsuits are being filed against Abbott Laboratories and Enfamil lawsuits are being filed against Mead Johnson. Similac and Enfamil may have slightly different baby formula ingredients, but products made with cow’s milk share the same potential risk for causing NEC in preterm infants.

Abbott Laboratories has a slightly larger share of the U.S. baby formula market than Mead Johnson, so more babies may be fed with Similac versus Enfamil. Abbott provides baby formula to about 47% of infants who receive benefits through the WIC supplemental nutrition program, according to The New York Times. Mead Johnson is the next largest manufacturer at 40%.

When judges formed the baby formula lawsuit multidistrict litigation in Illinois, almost all of the first lawsuits moved to the MDL were Similac lawsuits.

Status of Similac Baby Formula Lawsuits

Similac baby formula lawsuits are just beginning, and so far there have been no public settlements or jury verdicts awarded in injury claims. Abbott also faces class action lawsuits from shareholders who say the company concealed problems at its Sturgis, Michigan, plant.

As of June 2024, there were 514 lawsuits pending in the baby formula NEC MDL out of 581 total originally filed.

Has Similac Been Recalled?

Similac had not been recalled for NEC risks, but in 2022 Abbott issued a baby formula recall for products manufactured at its Sturgis plant. Some of those products included Similac baby formula.

The Abbott and Similac baby formula recalls began in February 2022. The recalls came after reports of sickness and some deaths connected to potential bacterial contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii. Babies became sick after consuming Similac and other Abbott formulas, and some died.

Abbott now faces a U.S. Department of Justice criminal investigation because of the contamination at its Sturgis plant.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.