NEC & Baby Formula

NEC Baby Formula Attorneys


  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious condition among premature babies that can require surgery and cause long-term health effects, even death.
  • Premature babies can develop necrotizing enterocolitis after being fed cow’s milk-based baby formula.
  • A dangerous products attorney can help parents of babies with NEC file a claim against baby formula manufacturers.

Why Hire HHK for Your NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

Infant necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) can lead to short- and long-term health complications. But the illness impacts much more than just physical health; NEC affects mental health, quality of life, and relationships, and medical costs add up quickly, putting more stress on parents during an already traumatic time.

Companies that manufacture products without properly informing consumers of risks they knew or should have known about may be held liable if the product causes harm. With extensive research connecting cow’s milk-based formulas to NEC, manufacturers must be held accountable.

The Louisiana dangerous products lawyers at HHK have decades of experience handling product liability lawsuits and mass torts. Our team is filing claims against the companies that make Enfamil and Similac for failure to warn parents and doctors about the risks of using some of their products.

You may have a baby formula claim if your premature baby developed NEC. Our attorneys are working tirelessly to get the compensation victims deserve and help alleviate their suffering. Contact us today to discuss your NEC baby formula case.

baby in intensive care unit in a medical incubator under ultraviolet lamp.

What You Need To Know About NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits

Having a baby is a joyous, albeit stressful, experience. Sometimes, babies are born too early and must stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until they’re better developed and it’s safe to go home. To help encourage and speed up growth, premature infants are fed baby formula for vital nutrients.

But in recent years, many preemies born in Louisiana and throughout the country developed necrotizing enterocolitis after being fed cow’s milk-based baby formulas. NEC is a life-threatening condition that affects the intestines and causes infection and inflammation. Sometimes, it requires surgery to remove part of the bowel. In fact, a 2017 NEC study showed that 20 percent to 40 percent of infants require surgery. There are several other possible complications, and it can even be fatal.

Baby formula lawsuits are based on research that has long shown a connection between cow’s milk formulas and NEC in premature infants. Baby formula manufacturers, including Similac and Enfamil, should have properly warned parents and doctors of the risks given the connection between NEC and cow’s milk has been known for years – but they didn’t, and the results have been devastating.

Since Similac and Enfamil failed to warn the public about the risks associated with NEC and their infant formulas for premature babies, a dangerous product claim can help recover damages.

In the past, medical malpractice lawsuits have been filed against doctors for providing cow-based milk products to premature infants because it is known to cause NEC. However, in those situations, doctors often claimed they did not know about the medical literature that connected certain Similac and Enfamil formulas to NEC.

Now, the baby formula attorneys at HHK are going straight to the source and filing lawsuits against the large corporations who knew the dangers but failed to warn those who gave the cow’s milk-based formula to preemies.

Baby Formula Products Linked to NEC

In NEC baby formula cases, sometimes the infant requires surgery, and many survivors will experience lifelong health struggles. There have also been cases of NEC that resulted in death, leaving parents devastated by what may have been a preventable loss.

Knowing which Enfamil and Similac formulas pose risks of developing NEC is essential and can help determine whether you have grounds for a baby formula lawsuit. Below are some examples of formulas that could be dangerous to premature babies.  

Enfamil Baby Formulas

Mead Johnson Nutrition, the maker of Enfamil, is currently facing claims for the severe health effects linked to its products. You may be eligible to file a baby formula lawsuit if your baby was fed any of the following Enfamil products and developed NEC or NEC symptoms:

  • Enfamil NeoPro EnfaCare Infant Formula (Mead Johnson Nutrition calls this the “best” formula for premature babies.)
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 20 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 30 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal with Protein
  • Enfamil 24 Cal Infant Formula

Similac Baby Formulas

Our NEC lawyers are also reviewing claims against Abbot Laboratories Inc., the manufacturer of Similac baby formula. If your premature baby was fed any of the following and developed NEC or symptoms of NEC, then you may have a valid Similac baby formula lawsuit:

  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care

You may still qualify for a claim if your infant was fed another cow’s milk-based formula and developed the condition. Contact our NEC lawyers to discuss your case.

What is NEC?

NEC is a disease that primarily occurs in premature infants. Necrotizing enterocolitis happens when bacteria invade the walls of the intestines, leading to infection and inflammation and causing a decrease in oxygen to certain organs. The condition may cause the destruction of a baby’s bowels and can be fatal.

There are many symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis, including:

  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Intolerance to formula
  • Feeding residuals
  • Green fluid in the abdominal wall
  • Decreased bowel sounds
  • Trouble breathing
  • Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
  • Abdominal distension
  • Lethargy
  • Increase or decrease in stools
  • Jaundice

NEC gets worse over time, especially if the baby continues to be fed cow-based milk formula. Identification of symptoms and immediate treatment are essential. When treated appropriately, most babies who develop NEC can recover and live a normal life without complications. However, many survivors suffer health complications for the rest of their lives, and in the worst cases, NEC can result in death.

An initial diagnosis of NEC requires close observation of symptoms by a pediatric doctor. Blood testing, cultures, abdominal imaging, and blood gas levels may also be used to make a diagnosis.

Treatment of NEC

Powder milk and blue spoon on light background close-up.Babies who develop NEC are typically treated by immediately discontinuing feeding of the formula and beginning strong antibiotics. Babies are placed on intravenous nutrients until the infection is controlled and intestinal tissue is healed.

Other treatments for NEC may be necessary, such as drainage of the gastric system and circulatory support. If NEC causes the tissue of the intestines to become dead and decayed, then surgery may be needed to remove the affected tissue of the intestines. This can lead to many complications, including but not limited to short gut syndrome.

Proof that Cow’s Milk Formula Can Cause NEC

Significant scientific evidence dates back years linking cow’s milk formula to NEC. However, much of the literature has been published in the last 30 years.

  • 1990 – The Lancet published a research study involving 926 premature infants who received cow’s milk-based formula, finding that they were more likely to develop NEC by up to 10 times.
  • 2010 – The Journal of Pediatrics published an article that found infants who were fed breast milk or formula with human milk fortifiers were 90% less likely to develop NEC than babies fed cow milk-based formula.
  • 2011 – The U.S. Surgeon General released a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding of infants who had been born prematurely. It stated that premature babies who are fed cow’s milk formulas are more likely to develop NEC by 138%.
  • 2014 – Expert Review of Clinical Immunology noted that there is significant evidence that cow’s milk formula leads to NEC at higher rates than breast milk.
  • 2015 – Pediatria published a Portuguese study that found a 50% reduction of NEC for babies fed breast milk instead of cow’s milk formula.
  • 2016 – Breastfeeding Medicine published a study involving more than 1,500 infants that determined there was a lower chance of NEC among babies who received breast milk.
  • 2019 – Cochrane published a study of more than 1,900 babies who were born prematurely that found cow’s milk-based formulas were seven times more likely to lead to NEC than breast milk.
  • 2021 – Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics published information that premature infants who were given only breast milk had a reduction in NEC by 77%.
  • 2021 – Pediatrics and Child Health published a study that found breast milk reduced the incidence of NEC in premature infants.

These studies were well known by Enfamil and Similac. And yet, they failed to warn doctors and parents about the risks associated with their cow milk formulas and NEC. They didn’t place a warning on the formulas and may have even tried to cover up the link between their baby formula and the life-threatening disease.

For more information on how to file an NEC baby formula lawsuit, contact HHK online or call 1-844-943-7627 today.

NEC Baby Formula Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can File a Baby Formula Lawsuit?2023-10-03T20:49:59+00:00

You may qualify for compensation through a baby formula lawsuit if your baby was:

  • Born prematurely
  • Used Enfamil or Similac formula
  • Diagnosed with NEC

Our attorneys can review your case to help determine whether you have grounds for a NEC baby formula claim.

Is There a Recall of Enfamil or Similac Formulas?2023-10-03T20:51:23+00:00

No. There is no current recall of cow’s milk-based formulas linked to NEC by Enfamil and Similac. However, parents deserve to be informed about the NEC risks associated with cow’s milk formula, particularly for premature infants. Knowing the risks allows parents and doctors to decide how to safely feed their babies.

Is There a Class Action Baby Formula Lawsuit?2023-10-03T20:52:17+00:00

Yes, a class action baby formula lawsuit against Similac and Enfamil is in federal court. Individual product liability lawsuits are also being consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL), claiming Mead Johnson Nutrition and Abbott should have warned parents and doctors about their products.

How Much Money Can I Get in a Baby Formula Lawsuit?2023-10-03T20:53:00+00:00

The amount of money you are eligible to recover depends on the severity of your baby’s injuries and many other details. You should contact our NEC baby formula lawyers for a free consultation to find out exactly how much your case may be worth.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in an NEC Baby Formula Claim?2023-10-03T20:54:06+00:00

When a company fails to warn consumers of the risks of a product and it causes an injury or illness, several types of damages may be recovered. These include medical bills, future medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed if an infant tragically dies from NEC due to baby formula.

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