One in 10 babies is born prematurely in the U.S., adding up to 380,000 babies every year, per a March of Dimes report. Still, many solutions are available for keeping a premature baby healthy. For some people, these solutions include baby formula. One widely known brand is Similac, a baby formula produced from cow’s milk that is fed to premature infants.
Similac, however, is under scrutiny, as many parents claim their babies developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after using it. Lawsuits have been filed against Similac’s manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, Inc., for failing to report the product’s risks and other issues. If you suspect your child has developed NEC due to Similac consumption, you can review your legal options with Dolman Law Group during a free case consultation today.
How a Lawyer Can Help a Similac NEC Baby Formula Case
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a severe gastrointestinal ailment common in babies born prematurely before 37 weeks. NEC normally inflates the tissue in the large or small inner lining of the intestines, causing the tissues to die. Over time, the infant’s intestines begin to perforate, causing bacteria to spread inside the bloodstream.
NEC affects 5% to 12% of premature babies, with 20% to 40% cases leading to surgery, according to a study published in Advances in Nutrition. In extreme cases, NEC can lead to death or call for surgery, and the costs for operating can exceed $300,000 when surgical management is needed, the study says.
You May Be Able To Recover Damages in a NEC Baby Formula Case
As such, a lawyer can negotiate with Abbott’s representatives for a settlement or file a lawsuit on your behalf. At Dolman Law Group, our legal team will collect evidence of Similac’s toxicity and help you build a strong case because:
- We have experience in dealing with big manufacturers like Abbott Laboratories.
- We handle medical malpractice lawsuits against hospitals and medical practitioners.
- We have experience in product liability claims, especially failure-to-warn claims.
- We have taken thousands of cases to trial.
Evidence of Similac’s Toxicity
Medical specialists’ research has found that Similac has caused NEC in many preemie babies in the past 30 years. In recent years, further studies have confirmed that premature babies who consume Similac or other cow milk-based formulas are at risk of developing NEC than breastfed babies.
Here are some of the studies conducted on the topic:
- In 1990, The Lancet published an article that found a link between bovine baby formulas and NEC. The study further stated that infants fed formulas were six to 10 times more at risk of developing NEC.
- Another study that the Journal of Pediatrics published in 2000 revealed that breastfed babies have a 90% chance of fighting NEC than those who consume baby formulas.
- In 2013, the Journal of Pediatrics published another study promoting feeding preemie infants an exclusive breast milk diet to sustain preemie infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. The study found a significant timescale of parenteral nutrition and higher chances of surgical NEC in babies fed cow milk-based formulas.
- A study the British Medical Journal published in 2021 found that companies who made cow-milk-based products like Similac have financed biased and unsubstantiated clinical trials of such products. These trials downplayed the possible health risks associated with their products.
Conditions and Symptoms Associated With NEC
According to the Cleveland Clinic, nine out of 10 babies diagnosed with NEC are born prematurely. These cases usually range from mild to severe, and some might result in death. Babies diagnosed with NEC might develop more conditions.
The infant could develop an infection in the abdomen when the intestinal wall is punctured. In the long run, the infant will develop short bowel syndrome, hindering the absorption of both fluids and nutrients.
Even though many NEC symptoms vary extensively, some of the most common include:
- Changes in blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and body temperature
- Swelling in the abdomen and discomfort
- Weight loss and lack of appetite
- Vomiting green or yellow substance
- Diarrhea with bloody stool
If you identify some of these signs after feeding your baby Similac, go to the hospital immediately and then consider seeking the counsel of a lawyer who can help you determine your next steps.
What Damages Can You Claim in an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?
A personal injury claim has two categories: economic and non-economic damages. These damages create a foundation in building a case against Abbott Laboratories, Inc.
Economic damages may occur because your baby consumed Similac. You most likely have medical bills for your infant’s NEC treatment and related ailments. In this category, you can also claim compensation for the income you missed while away from work and any future income you stand to lose if you must stop working or take a different job so that you can care for your child.
Our lawyers can demand that the at-fault party pay you for the period you were not working while pursuing the lawsuit or taking care of your baby.
These damages have no direct financial cost attached, but they affect you psychologically. Pain and suffering are the most common non-economic damages in an injury lawsuit, and they’re eligible for compensation. Others include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The first step is to file a lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories, Inc., and other liable parties, such as hospitals or medical practitioners. If you wish to take legal action, we urge you to reach out to us as soon as possible. Each state has its own statute of limitations deadlines for personal injury cases. Once these deadlines expire, you could lose your chance to seek damages.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation
You and your family don’t have to fight the liable parties and their insurance companies alone. At Dolman Law Group, we’re ready to handle all the steps involved in filing a lawsuit while you help your child recuperate.
We handle individual injury cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning we’ll get paid only if we recover a settlement or court-ordered award in your favor. You can start reviewing your legal options now. Call us for a free consultation at (727) 451-6900 now.