Our Enfamil baby formula lawyers are investigating necrotizing enterocolitis lawsuits throughout the country.
Enfamil lawsuits allege this popular baby formula has caused many premature infants to develop a serious gastrointestinal infection called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
Our law firm is currently looking into potential Enfamil lawsuits against the company that manufactures Enfamil, Enfamil Nutrition, based on its failure to warn about the risks of NEC.
NEC is an incredibly serious condition that often results in serious and permanent injury or death. Families who bring successful baby formula NEC lawsuit could receive a significant financial compensation payout for the awful harm their babies endured.
Below, our Enfamil NEC baby formula lawyers look at expected settlement compensation payouts in the Enfamil litigation and how to determine if your family is eligible for compensation.What Is NEC and Why Is It So Dangerous?
NEC is a gastrointestinal bacterial infection that can cause rapid death of tissue in the inner intestinal walls of an infant. NEC usually occurs in premature babies (born 37 weeks or earlier) and the infection can develop in the large or small intestine. The necrotizing infection starts out in the inner intestinal wall lining and gradually spreads to the entire thickness of the intestine.
Cases of NEC tend range in severity. In some infants, NEC may be very mild and only cause discomfort from inflammation of the bowels. In other cases, however, NEC can be very serious and potentially fatal for the baby. Severe cases of NEC that are not immediately and effectively treated can cause a hole (perforation) to develop in the intestinal wall as the tissue decays and dies.
When perforation of the intestine occurs with NEC it creates a very dangerous situation that makes the condition potentially life threatening. The hole in the intestine wall enable harmful bacteria to escape the digestive system and invade the abdominal cavity. When this occurs it can very quickly lead to a system wide infection and eventually progress into the deadly bloodstream infection called sepsis.Enfamil Increases the Risk of NEC in Premature Infants
Enfamil has infant formulas made from cow milk. This baby formula is given to newborn babies as a substitute for human breast milk. A growing body of scientific evidence has proven cow milk formulas like Enfamil significantly increases the risk of a life-threatening bowel infection called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) when given to premature infants.The Link Between Enfamil and NEC
The earliest medical evidence establishing a causal link be cow-milk formulas like Enfamil and higher rates of NEC dates back to the early 1990s. More recent scientific studies have definitively proven that when Enfamil (or other cow-milk formulas) are fed to premature infants it significantly increases their risk of developing NEC compared to preemies that are given human breast milk.
If a premature infant is fed exclusively with Enfamil or another cow-milk formula, studies have shown that they are ten times more likely to develop NEC than babies fed with breast milk.
The evidence linking cow-milk formula to NEC in preemies is so strong that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Surgeon General, and many health organizations have strongly advocated against feeding Enfamil to premature infants.Enfamil’s Manufacturer Deliberately Failed to Warn About the Risk of NEC
Enfamil is manufactured and sold by Mead Johnson Nutrition (“Mead Johnson”). For years, Mead Johnson know about the overwhelming scientific evidence and clinical studies showing that Enfamil puts premature babies at higher risk for NEC.
Despite having knowledge of this evidence, Mead Johnson has repeatedly declined to include a warning label on its Enfamil packaging cautioning consumers and doctors about the risk of NEC.
This is a knowing choice that Mead Johnson made. It is not like a warning never occurred to their executives. Mead knew they would lose money with a warning that its cow's milk-based formula product is dangerous to premature infants because it significantly increases the risk that the baby will develop NEC. Mead would lose even more money if Abbott did not follow suit with its baby formula Similac.
Product manufacturers like Mead Johnson have a legal duty to warn consumers about known hazards associated with their products. Mead Johnson clearly had an obligation to warn that Enfamil put premature infants at high risk for NEC, but they have ignored that obligation in order to maintain the marketability of their product. This negligence failure to warn about the risk of NEC for premature infants is the basis Enfamil NEC lawsuits being filed against Mead Johnson.Status of Enfamil Lawsuits
The Enfamil NEC litigation is still in its infancy. New involving Enfamil and failure to warn about the increased risk of NEC for premature infants are being filed against Mead Johnson around the country every month. These Enfamil lawsuits are bringing product liability claims against Mead Johnson for negligent failure to warn, strict product liability, and breach of warranty.
If the volume of Enfamil NEC lawsuits continues to rise, we should eventually see a new Enfamil “class-action” MDL (multi-district litigation). A mass tort MDL is similar to a traditional class action, except that the individual plaintiffs and their cases remain separate but are consolidated together for pretrial discovery.Enfamil Lawsuits Settlement
The Enfamil NEC litigation is just starting to gain momentum at this point. No Enfamil NEC lawsuit against Mead Johnson has gone to trial or been settled yet. As a result, it is impossible to know exactly how much Enfamil lawsuits will be worth in a verdict or settlement. We make an educated guess at their potential settlement value by making a comparative analysis of settlements and verdicts in recent medical malpractice lawsuits in which NEC in a premature infant was the primary injury.
Our attorneys collected settlement and verdict amounts from seven medical malpractice lawsuits around the country in which NEC in a preemie was the primary alleged injury. The average compensation in these NEC cases was around $3.5 million. The median compensation payout for NEC in these 7 cases was $1.3 million.
Our baby’s formula lawyers view of these NEC payout statistics is that the trial value of infant formula lawsuits is probably higher than medical malpractice lawsuits alleging the same injuries.
Why? The defendants in the NEC medical malpractice cases are sympathetic doctors or nurses. If a jury thinks they made a mistake caused, they will award a verdict. But jurors are far less likely to be angry with a doctor who tried her best but made a mistake as opposed to a big corporation like Mead Johnson. Juror anger leads to higher compensatory damages and, in many cases, punitive damages.
There absolutely is a difference between trial and settlement value of the Enfamil baby formula lawsuits. The average jury compensation payout could be over $3 million in these cases if successful. But the average individual NEC lawsuit settlement will not approach that number. A settlement is a compromise so the typical amounts are much less.
The product liability lawyers at Miller & Zois are actively seeking Enfamil NEC lawsuits from parents of premature infants who were fed with Enfamil (or another cow milk-based formula) and subsequently developed NEC.