Formula milk is often substituted for breastfeeding for parents who can't or choose not to breastfeed. However, for preterm infants given Enfamil baby formula, this can cause serious, even fatal, injuries.
Enfamil maker Mead Johnson has been the subject of multiple lawsuits that claim their product causes severe diseases in children, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Our Doral Enfamil lawsuit lawyers can help families affected by this product.
What Is NEC, and Why Is It Harmful to Preterm Infants?
NEC is a bacteria infection that can affect anyone, but Cleveland Clinic affirms that preterm infants are particularly vulnerable. A person with NEC will suffer from injuries or inflamed tissue in their small or large intestine. When left untreated, the affected tissue can necrotize, or die, creating a hole in the intestinal wall.
Intestinal Perforation Is a Major, Life-Threatening Hazard
The problem with having a hole in the body is that it prevents the intestine from doing its task of holding bacteria-laden waste. Intestinal contents are likely to leak, including the bacteria that will now have a free pass in the bloodstream.
Once the bacteria have entered blood circulation, the person can develop septicemia leading to sepsis, a life-threatening condition that can cause organ damage and possibly death.
Understanding how NEC ravages a person's body makes it easy to understand why a premature baby would be highly at risk. Treatment will usually involve surgery, but as you can imagine, this can only put a preemie in even greater danger. In some cases, the baby dies.
Symptoms of NEC You Can Look Out for From Your Infant
Doctors usually diagnose NEC by checking for an abnormal gas pattern on an infant's X-rays. The NEC gas pattern will resemble bubbles, or gas streaks, on the intestinal walls. In advanced cases, a doctor may find air from the intestine reaching the large veins of the abdominal cavity or liver.
As a parent, you may have a reasonable suspicion that a baby is suffering from NEC if you notice the following symptoms:
- Red and bloated tummy
- Unstable blood pressure, body temperature, and respiratory rate
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- Apnea (pauses in breathing)
- Issues with feeding
- The sudden shift in energy level
- Green or yellow vomit (from bile)
- Loose bowel movement or constipation
- Blood in feces
Why Is Enfamil Potentially Fatal for Premature Babies?
There are several brands of infant formulas, but one of those that have enjoyed notable success is Enfamil. This formula mainly contains cow's milk, which may be nutritionally inferior to breastmilk, but is safe. The only time bovine milk can pose a threat is when parents give it to preterm infants.
For decades, doctors have understood the association between bovine milk and NEC. Still, more recent studies have established that preterm babies are at least ten times more likely to develop NEC from cow's milk than from breastmilk. Enfamil poses severe and even deadly hazards to preterm infants.
According to experts, preterm infants are more vulnerable to NEC because of their underdeveloped intestines. Little development in the intestines can cause less oxygen to flood the blood and brain. Additionally, these preemies' underdeveloped immunity may make them more susceptible to NEC complications.
Enfamil's Negligent Failure to Warn Parents
There is nothing wrong with making infant formula using cow's milk. Companies worldwide have been doing it for many years. But now that doctors know the dangers of bovine milk to preterm babies, manufacturers should warn consumers through their product labels.
Mead Johnson has not only been ignoring calls to put NEC risk warnings on the Enfamil label, but it has been doing so for years. That means the company has decided to choose profit over consumer welfare, committing serious negligence and harming dozens of children.
How Much Can I Expect as a Settlement?
No Enfamil lawsuit has reached a settlement agreement or the court. A lack of settlements makes it challenging to determine how much you may receive in compensation. In general, though, your Enfamil lawsuit lawyer might discover that your Doral case could result in compensation that would cover damages like these:
- Medical and NICU bills
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment rentals
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
When You File Your Doral Enfamil Lawsuit Matters
The deadline for filing an Enfamil lawsuit is different from one state to another. However, you still have to file your lawsuit within your state's statute of limitations for personal injury cases. In Florida, Florida Statutes § 95.11 imposes a two-year timeline.
If you do not file within this period, you forfeit your right to compensation. On the other hand, this statute is not always as straightforward as it seems. For example, if your preterm baby exhibited NEC symptoms long after birth, you may be granted some extension under the discovery rule.
The extension will naturally depend on the specific details of your case. Either way, your lawyer will make sure that you're on track when it comes to this deadline. Dolman Law Group will ensure that you understand the statute of limitations, should you have any questions. We don't want you to lose your rights to justice because of minor misunderstandings.
You don't Pay Until You Win
Some people hesitate to file an Enfamil lawsuit because it will cost them too much in lawyer fees. Truthfully, most clients pay personal injury attorneys on a contingency basis, which means the attorneys will not charge you until they have won your case.
Contact Us Today
Contact a Doral-based lawyer at Dolman Law Group for a free Enfamil case consultation and explore your options. Reach out to us today. Here's how our team can support your claim:
- Review medical records and interview experts
- Investigate Mead Johnson for evidence of negligence
- Complete and file paperwork involved in your claim
- Help you know what documentation you'll need
- Negotiate with Enfamil for your settlement
- Prepare to take your claim to court
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
8400 NW 36th St Suite 450
Doral, FL 33166