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Can You File a Lawsuit if Your Infant Has Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating disease that occurs in infants. The symptoms of NEC are often severe and sometimes fatal. Some infants have developed NEC because they ingested baby formula based with cow’s milk.

Fortunately, many parents of children who developed necrotizing enterocolitis can sue for their child’s injuries. Products liability is a field of personal injury law that seeks to hold manufacturers responsible for dangerous or defective products. In a products liability claim, manufacturers can be held liable for failing to warn about dangers associated with their product. Accordingly, our personal injury lawyers may help recover financial compensation if your child developed NEC because of harmful baby formula.

If your child has developed necrotizing enterocolitis after ingesting baby formula, contact our experienced Maryland personal injury lawyers today by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a serious and potentially fatal disease that primarily occurs in infants. When an infant has necrotizing enterocolitis, bacteria invades the infant’s intestinal wall causes the death of bowel tissue. Necrotizing enterocolitis may lead to the following symptoms and conditions:

  • Sepsis
  • An abdominal infection called peritonitis
  • Intestinal stricture or narrowing of the intestines
  • Short bowel syndrome, which makes it hard for the body to absorb fluids and nutrients

Necrotizing enterocolitis gets worse over time, so it is important to identify symptoms and seek treatment quickly. Necrotizing enterocolitis is initially diagnosed based on a clinical observation of symptoms by a pediatrician. Afterwards, diagnostic tools such as blood testing and abdominal imaging may be used to identify necrotizing enterocolitis.

Necrotizing enterocolitis is treated by discontinuing all oral feeding and administering strong antibiotics. Additionally, infants may require surgery to repair the damage necrotizing enterocolitis does to their intestinal wall.

This condition can be fatal, lead to growth problems, or cause neurodevelopmental issues. Accordingly, parents should ask their pediatrician if the baby formula they choose can cause necrotizing enterocolitis. A Baltimore personal injury lawyer will be able to refer victims of necrotizing enterocolitis to the appropriate physician.

Cow’s Milk Baby Formula as a Cause of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Infants

Doctors have long known that a rapid advancement in feeding for a premature infant can result in a significant increase in the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis. The overwhelming majority of infants who develop necrotizing enterocolitis do so after being fed, and a reduction in feedings was found to decrease the likelihood of necrotizing enterocolitis. For years, the specific cause of necrotizing enterocolitis was not known. However, a link has since been established between cow’s milk in baby formula and the development of necrotizing enterocolitis.

Research has found for years that there is a link between cow’s milk in baby formulas and the development of necrotizing enterocolitis in infants. Still, there was never a warning placed on baby formulas that contained cow’s milk such as Similac and Enfamil, which have been linked to causing NEC in multiple lawsuits against manufacturers.

Accordingly, these and other manufacturers of cow’s milk baby formulas can be held liable for failing to warn consumers of the dangers associated with their product. Parents of infants who have developed necrotizing enterocolitis after ingesting cow’s milk baby formula may help their chances of compensation by seeking the assistance of our Annapolis personal injury lawyers.

Proving the Link Between Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Cows’ Milk Baby Formula

A great amount of scientific evidence exists linking necrotizing enterocolitis with cows’ milk baby formulas. The following are some of the more recent studies establishing that link:

  • A 2021 study from the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • A 2020 study from Cochrane, a UK-based medical NGO
  • A 2016 study from the medical journal Breastfeeding Medicine
  • A 2015 study from Brazilian medical journal Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Accordingly, victims who have developed necrotizing enterocolitis from cows’ milk baby formulas should be compensated for injuries suffered because of a formula manufacturer’s failure to warn. Parents of affected infants can contact our personal injury lawyers for help organizing their claim.

Formulas Alleged to Contain Cow’s Milk Potentially Leading to Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Victims who have developed necrotizing enterocolitis after ingesting a cows’ milk baby formula may be entitled to compensation. If a child has developed necrotizing enterocolitis after ingesting any of the formulas listed in this section, our Bethesda personal injury lawyers can offer a free review of their potential lawsuit.

Enfamil Baby Formula

One formula manufacturer allegedly failed to warn of the dangerous related to their cow’s milk formula was Mead Johnson & Johnson Company. If a baby was fed any of the following formulas, they may deserve compensation:

  • Enfamil NeoPro EnfaCare Infant Formula
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 20 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil 24 Cal Infant Formula
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal High Protein
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 30 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier

Similac Baby Formula

Additionally, Abbott Laboratories allegedly failed to place warnings on their cow’s milk formula called Similac. A child may be also be afforded compensation if they have developed necrotizing enterocolitis after ingesting any of the following formulas.

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

If Your Baby Has Developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis After Ingesting Cows’ Milk Baby Formula, Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help

When an infant develops necrotizing enterocolitis after ingesting Similac or Enfamil baby formula, their parents can get help from experienced, Ocean City personal injury lawyers today by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.