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Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

Chicago-Based Lawyers for Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawsuits

Necrotizing EnterocolitisWhen your baby is born, you want to do right by him or her and provide proper nutrients. Unfortunately, preterm and low weight babies that are given formula based on cow’s milk could suffer a serious gastrointestinal disorder called necrotizing enterocolitis. Their parents may not realize the danger. For example, Joey Koeth, born preterm in 2015 at 29 weeks and weighing about 3.5 pounds was fed Mead Johnson’s Enfamil Premature formula and developed necrotizing enterocolitis even though his heart and brain were normal and healthy at birth. If your baby was harmed by necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), you should call the Chicago product liability lawyers of Moll Law Group. We represent clients all over the country. Billions have been recovered in lawsuits with which we’ve been involved.

Necrotizing enterocolitis develops when harmful bacteria grow within the baby’s intestinal walls. The bacteria can inflame and causing death to parts of the intestine. After NEC develops, it can progress rapidly. It may start as a mild feeding intolerance before turning into full-blown, deadly sepsis.

Hire Moll Law Group to Bring Your Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawsuit

It is more common for preterm babies to develop this disease when fed formula that is cow’s-milk based. Preterm infants are vulnerable because their digestive systems are not as developed to tolerate this type of formula. In contrast, human milk-based formula products reduce the incidence of NEC for which surgery is needed. The Academy of Pediatrics has issued advisories that preterm infants should only be fed mother’s milk or pasteurized human donor milk in order to reduce the risk of NEC.

In spite of the potential known dangers of cow’s milk-based formulas, two major baby formula manufacturers Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson continue to make cow’s milk-based products. They even make and sell these products under the misleading name “Human Milk Fortifier.” 

Joey Koeth developed NEC after 10 days on the Mead Johnson formula. He had to go through three exploratory laparotomies, and in the course of the first of these abdominal surgeries, surgeons had to remove six centimeters of his ileum. The remaining intestines were placed in a silo for monitoring of his bowels. He also had to go through a broviac catheter insertion and placement of an Onmaya Reservoir so that medication could be delivered to his brain and spinal cord.

He had to take opioids for pain and as a result, eventually developed Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The effects of NEC have troubled him now for years; he is six and developed severe conditions including severe intraventricular hemorrhage and obstructive hydrocephalus, that resulted in cerebral palsy. He will probably need care 24/7 for the remainder of his life.

Product Liability Lawsuits

There are various theories under which a product liability lawsuit may be pursued; many are pursued under a theory of strict liability. When our attorneys pursue a claim under this theory we need to establish: (1) the product was defective and (2) the defect caused injuries. In other words, we’d need to show that cow’s milk formula was the cause of the NEC and that the formula was defective in terms of its design, manufacturing, or marketing.

Other theories under which a lawsuit may be brought include false advertising or fraud. Under these theories, our lawyers would need to show, among other things, the manufacturer made false statements in its marketing materials or advertising. Generally, in order to hold a manufacturer liable, we would need to establish that they knew of the falsity of their statements. It may also be appropriate to also bring a lawsuit under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, or another similar consumer protection statute that applies.

When a child dies due to necrotizing enterocolitis, it may be appropriate to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer. There could be medical malpractice claims involved in this type of suit as well.

Retain an Experienced Plaintiff’s Attorney

If your preterm baby developed necrotizing enterocolitis due to cow’s-milk formula, you should talk to the Chicago-based product liability lawyers of Moll Law Group. We work towards providing information that prevents injuries. However, if your child has already been harmed or even killed by formula, we stand ready to represent you in protecting your rights. Please contact us through our online form or call us at 312.462.1700.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?
A: NEC is a gastrointestinal disorder that some preterm and low-weight babies can suffer if given formula based on cow's milk. NEC develops when harmful bacteria grow within the baby's intestinal walls.

Q: What are the symptoms of NEC?
A: Symptoms of NEC can include but are not limited to a swollen, red, or tender belly, trouble feeding, constipation, green vomit, dark or bloody stools, and more.

Q: Which baby formulas use cow's milk?
A: Believe it or not, 4/5 formula brands use cow's milk, including Enfamil, Similac, Earth's Best, Happy Baby, Go & Grow, Gerber, Parent's Choice, Baby's Only, Loulouka, Holle, Kendamil, Bobbie, Lebenswert, and more.

Affected products include:

  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein- Concentrated Liquid
  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement

Q: What type of lawsuit can I file if my child develops NEC?
A: If your child develops NEC after using a formula with cow's milk, you are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers. You may also have a claim for medical malpractice as well - depending upon the facts of your particular case.

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