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Necrotizing Enterocolitis Sparks Baby Formula Lawsuits

baby bottle and formula

Parents in Illinois and throughout the U.S. are filing lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories, alleging that certain powdered baby formula products, now recalled by the company, could cause a serious bacterial infection in infants.

Many of the lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories seek state and federal class-action status, due to the belief that other consumers may have been affected. The allegedly defective infant formulas – branded as Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare – were produced at a facility in Sturgis, Michigan, and there are at least four consumer complaints that products from this facility were tainted by the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport.

Abbott Laboratories said in a Feb. 17 voluntary recall notice that “no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of either of these bacteria” and samples retained from consumers who complained also showed no presence of the bacteria.

The lots included in the recall start with a 22 through 37, not including the letter at the beginning of the lot number. Abbott Laboratories has provided an online tool to help parents check their formula’s lot number to see if it’s included in the recall.

When an infant reportedly died of a Cronobacter sakazakii infection days after the initial recall, however, Abbott Laboratories issued a targeted recall of one lot of its Similac PM 60/40 (Lot # 27032K80 (can) / Lot # 27032K800 (case), which was also manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan.

“This case is under investigation, and at this time the cause of the infant’s Cronobacter sakazakii infection has not been determined,” the company said in an updated recall notice.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis Claims

Amid legal claims alleging tainted baby formula, other lawsuits seeking class-action status allege that Abbott Laboratories failed to warn consumers that feeding its cow’s milk-based baby formula to preterm infants could cause Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a potentially deadly intestinal disease.

Studies have shown an increased risk of preterm infants developing NEC when fed formula derived from cow’s milk compared to those fed mother’s milk or human donor milk. Despite this information, Abbott Laboratories allegedly failed to warn consumers of the risk of feeding cow’s milk-based to preterm infants, even marketing such formulas for preterm infant consumption.

Do You Need Legal Assistance?

If you believe your baby became sick or injured because of a baby formula produced by Abbot Laboratories, or you feel the company didn’t adequately warn you of the risks of feeding cow’s milk-based formula to your preterm infant, you may have a valid legal claim.

Our attorneys at McNabola & Associates, LLC can help you assess your claim and take the appropriate legal action for your unique situation. To learn more about how we can help, reach out to us today to schedule a free case evaluation. There’s no fee unless we win.

Get in touch with us today by calling (312) 888-8700 or by contacting us online.