Similac Baby Formula Side Effects

March 28, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

Similac baby formula contains vitamins and nutrients that newborns need for nutrition. The product is usually prepared for bottle-feeding or cup-feeding with powder (mixed with water) or liquid (with or without additional water). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved Similac baby formula because the organization doesn't approve premature infant formula before marketing. Recently, there have been many reports of Similac causing mild to severe, even deadly, side effects in infants.

If your baby suffered health complications after consuming Similac, reach out to an NEC baby formula lawsuit lawyer at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, today. We will review your unique circumstances, discuss your legal options, and answer your questions during a free consultation. 

What Are the Most Dangerous Similac Baby Formula Side Effects?

While some Similac baby formula side effects are mild, others can cause severe life-threatening risks to infants. According to a study published in Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, formula-fed infants are six to ten times more likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) than infants who receive breast milk. NEC is a gastrointestinal bacterial infection mainly occurring in preterm babies. It causes inflammation that may lead to tissue death in the intestines. 

If not diagnosed and treated quickly, this bowel disease can lead to serious health complications and ongoing problems, such as intestinal strictures, sepsis, development problems, intestinal tissue perforation, cerebral palsy, and possibly death. NEC ordinarily develops within two to three weeks after birth.

NEC Symptoms Can Range From Mild to Severe

Depending on the situation, NEC creates mild symptoms in some infants but might cause severe and life-threatening symptoms in others. NEC symptoms in rare cases might include scarring and narrowing of the bowels that can lead to malabsorption, which keeps the bowels from absorbing nutrients normally. 

NEC treatment usually requires medication, but in severe cases, surgery may be necessary, posing serious risks of permanent injury to premature babies. 

If your infant has ingested Similac baby formula, some of the symptoms of NEC you should look for include:

  • Low blood pressure and heart rate
  • Diarrhea with dark stools or blood
  • Trouble gaining weight and eating
  • Shock (in advanced cases)
  • Yellow or green vomit
  • Distended abdomen

Similac baby formula can also cause the following side effects:

Upset Stomach

Babies can experience an upset stomach for many reasons, such as food intolerance, taking medications, or drinking too much or too quickly. Your infant also might develop an upset stomach from ingesting Similac baby formula. An infant's stomach is delicate and might react negatively to some of the ingredients found in Similac baby formula.


Contaminated food or even a virus can cause diarrhea. An inflammatory bowel disease like NEC or irritable bowel syndrome can also cause diarrhea. Babies who ingest Similac baby formula have a higher chance of experiencing frequent mild to severe diarrhea.


Several conditions can cause constipation, a gastrointestinal problem due to indigestion. One is giving your infant certain baby formula. Formulas such as Similac baby formula are thicker and have larger proteins that may be more difficult for an infant to digest.

Similac baby formula's other common side effects include black stools, nausea, food allergies, and loss of appetite. If your infant suffered any of the above serious side effects, especially NEC, after consuming Similac, you might be able to recover damages by bringing a claim or lawsuit against Similac's manufacturer.

Work With Dolman Law Group to Determine if You Should File a Similac Lawsuit

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can prepare a claim on your behalf if your infant developed NEC after ingesting Similac. The legal basis for the lawsuit is that the manufacturing company, Abbott Laboratories, Inc., knew about the risk of its products causing NEC yet failed to notify or warn the public. As a result, your child may require a lifetime of expensive medical treatment and care to deal with the associated complications. Sadly, sometimes NEC consequences are fatal. We can also discuss the possibility of a wrongful death case if appropriate. 

You might be able to recover many types of damages against Abbott. Both the injured child and the parents suffer harm when the child has NEC from Similac baby formula. Although legal negotiations mainly focus on the child's damages and available compensation, parents or guardians may also pursue consequential damages within the child's lawsuit or file a separate claim.

Some of the available compensation you may request includes:

Medical Care Expenses

If your child suffered from NEC or NEC-related problems, you probably incurred extensive medical bills from the initial diagnosis. You will most likely spend a lot of money in the future as well to pay for related medical expenses. Parents who file NEC-related lawsuits usually request compensation for all related medical care costs, including expenses from the past, present, and future.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering can cause psychological or physical problems for your baby and the rest of your family. Pain and suffering might include fear, anger, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and other adverse effects. 

Lost Wages

Parents looking after their NEC-injured infant usually must take time off work to provide care. These parents deserve compensation for their diminished earning capacity and lost income related to caring for their child who was injured by Similac-related NEC. A parent whose child is suffering from a permanent and NEC-related disability might also ask for future lost earnings.

Family Losses and Loss of Companionship

These losses are more intangible than medical bills. Sometimes called loss of filial consortium, these legal damages are related to the injured child's role in the family. These damages usually include intangible aspects, such as nurturing, care, affection, and loss of the parent-child relationship. Today, some states allow parents to recover consortium losses if a child is permanently disabled or injured.

Wrongful Death

Survival laws allow the parents or guardians of a child who died from NEC to seek compensation for their damages. A Similac baby formula attorney can help you seek wrongful death damages as a parent of an injured child. These damages can help you pay for the child's final medical bills and funeral expenses.

How Much Compensation Could You Recover in a Similac Lawsuit?

Similac NEC baby formula lawsuits are still new. However, concerned parents have taken legal action after their babies ingested the baby formula and were diagnosed with NEC. The Similac lawsuits are mostly filed against Abbott Laboratories, Inc., and allege strict liability for design defect, negligence, and strict liability for failure to warn, among other claims. 

None of the complaints have gone to trial or been settled yet, making it challenging to estimate the potential settlement value of such cases. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your NEC Similac claims and explain how much compensation you could possibly recover if you have a case.

Contact the NEC Similac Lawsuit Attorneys at Dolman Law Group Today for a Free Consultation

Some parents are filing individual medical malpractice claims against hospitals and medical professionals that caused their babies' Similac baby formula side effects, while others are trying to hold the product's manufacturer responsible. If you are going through a similar situation, you deserve someone on your side who will fight for your legal rights. 

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, handles personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means we receive attorney's fees only if we recover a settlement in your favor. Call 866-481-5347 or fill out our confidential online contact form for a free consultation where you can speak with us about how Similac baby formula side effects harmed your child. We are available for you 24/7.

Dolman Law Group works with local counsel in any jurisdiction outside Florida for the purpose of filing lawsuits in jurisdictions where we are not licensed. Thus, we will follow each State’s ethical rules to ensure a local attorney is involved.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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