Manufacturer Mead Johnson is facing legal repercussions because of Enfamil lawsuits, which parents and caregivers began with the claim that the baby formula has caused health issues and death through necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious and potentially fatal gastrointestinal illness.
What Is Enfamil?
Enfamil is a brand of baby formula that manufacturer Mead Johnson produces. Premature infants may consume Enfamil to help them recover after a premature birth and gain more weight. However, certain ingredients in Enfamil could increase infants’ risk of developing NEC, which has led to lawsuits against Mead Johnson claiming that Enfamil is causing this condition, in some instances fatally.
NEC Lawsuit in Illinois
The Enfamil lawsuit is a toxic baby formula lawsuit against Mead Johnson, claiming that the manufacturer failed to warn parents and caregivers about the increased risk of NEC resulting from consuming its baby formula products, including a line of Enfamil formulas.
Over the years, studies have found that NEC is six to ten times more likely to develop in babies who consume baby formula than those who are breastfed. This risk is even higher in premature infants.
The lawsuits are seeking compensation for the damages that parents and caregivers sustained, including medical costs of treating children sick with NEC, the decreased quality of life for NEC-afflicted babies, and the burial and funeral costs associated with children’s deaths from NEC.
Many Enfamil products appear in the lawsuits, including:
- Enfamil 24 Calorie Formula
- Enfamil Nutramigen
- Enfamil DHA-In-Sol
- Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Power (HCPM)
- Enfamil Premature Infant Iron Formula 20 Cal
Generally, any cow milk-based Enfamil products from Mead Johnson is potentially the subject of a lawsuit against the company.
Other Name Brands That Have Been Included in NEC Lawsuits
What baby formula causes NEC other than Enfamil? In addition to Enfamil, another big brand named in these lawsuits is Similac, which is another baby formula from manufacturer Abbott Laboratories. The only difference between these two lawsuits is the manufacturer that plaintiffs are suing. Other less widely recognized brands are also appearing in these lawsuits as manufacturers fail to warn about the potential risks of consuming baby formula.
Quality and Safety Standards for Baby Formula
To protect infants and let caregivers know of the risks associated with baby formula, the U.S. government passed the Infant Formula Act in 1980. This act put specific standards in place for the manufacturing and labeling of different types of baby formula products.
In addition, this act put testing requirements in place to help ensure that baby formula products meet these standards. If any products result in conditions like NEC or other health issues, manufacturers must also report these incidents to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under this act.
Other Regulations Governing Infant Formula
To further protect consumers, the FDA requires all legally sold U.S. baby formula products to meet its safety and nutritional standards. Additionally, the water in these formulas must meet the standards in place under the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
These and other rules and regulations aim to minimize the risk of developing health conditions when infants consume baby formula products.
Potential Impact on Industry Standards and Regulations
The standards and regulations in this industry could change, depending on the outcome of the Enfamil lawsuits and others involving various baby formulas. For example, there could be tighter rules in place requiring manufacturers to provide proper warnings, labeling, and instructions for baby formula products to inform parents and caregivers about the risk of NEC and other health issues.
Some Concerns Parents of Infants Might Have Regarding Enfamil
The Enfamil lawsuits understandably have many parents concerned for their children’s well-being when it comes to consuming baby formulas, especially those containing cow’s milk, which health officials have attributed to the increased risk of NEC.
If you’re worried about the effects of Enfamil, Similac, or other cow milk-based infant formulas and their potential effects on infant health, you may want to try other alternatives to these formulas.
Some of the more trusted brands out there include store brand formulas from Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Amazon, and Kroger, all of which are available in retail stores across the country. The specific brands you may use include Infant, Gentle®, Advantage®, Sensitivity®, Hypoallergenic, Complete® Comfort, Soy, or Added Rice Starch.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch for
Necrotizing enterocolitis typically affects infants between three and 12 days following childbirth, but some infants may not show signs or experience symptoms for weeks.
If you suspect that Enfamil or another baby formula may be causing NEC, the following are some signs to look for:
- Poor feeding or the inability to feed
- Abdominal swelling
- Bloody stools
- Unstable body temperature
- Bile-colored gastric discharge or vomiting
- Lethargy, apnea, or other signs of infection
If your child displays any of these symptoms, you should consult a health care professional to receive a proper assessment and diagnosis. You may then begin treatment and the child can begin recovering. You should also stop using Enfamil or other cow milk-based formulas to feed your child, and a doctor could advise you on other alternatives to try.
Find Out if You Qualify for an Enfamil Lawsuit
If your child has consumed Enfamil and developed NEC as a result of his or her consumption, you may be able to file an Enfamil lawsuit against Mead Johnson. These lawsuits could also involve medical professionals who negligently provided these formulas without disclosing the known risks of these products to you.
To determine if you have a valid lawsuit against Mead Johnson, other baby formula manufacturers, or negligent health care providers, an experienced product liability lawyer may be able to help you. You can learn more about why is Enfamil getting sued and potentially build a case against the liable party. An attorney can also help you identify and calculate all damages resulting from the use of Enfamil or other formulas.
Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.