Some of the symptoms of NEC include abdominal pain and swelling, green and yellow vomit, bloody stools, diarrhea, fatigue, refusal to eat, inability to gain weight, fluctuations in heart rate, and changes in body temperature.
However, an allergy to an ingredient can also cause an upset stomach.
Lawsuits have been filed by parents of preterm infants who were diagnosed with NEC after receiving cow’s milk-based formulas marketed under the Enfamil or Similac brand names.
The lawsuits allege that the manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac (Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, respectively) failed to warn the public about the potential risks associated with feeding cow’s milk formula to premature babies.
The lawsuits also allege that the manufacturers marketed the products as equivalent to breastmilk.
Plaintiffs have filed lawsuits in federal courts across the country, though many have chosen to file in Illinois since both Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories have headquarters in Chicago.
Other parents have filed individual lawsuits in the state where their infants were diagnosed with NEC after being fed Enfamil or Similac products.
As the number of cases grows, it is possible that the court will decide to combine individual NEC lawsuits into a mass tort.
A mass tort is different from a class-action lawsuit because although there are numerous plaintiffs, every plaintiff is treated as an individual and retains all the individual rights they would have been afforded if they had pursued a personal injury lawsuit on their own.
This is the same deadline that applies to most personal injury cases in Illinois.
However, it should be noted that Illinois does have a “discovery rule” that allows for the statute of limitations period to be extended under certain circumstances.
In some cases, the harm caused by NEC might not be “discovered” immediately the way other personal injuries, such as broken bones, would be.
The statute of limitations in NEC baby formula cases might not begin until a preterm infant has been officially diagnosed, even though they likely will have received bovine milk-based formula for some time before they began to show symptoms of the disease.
With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three. She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.
In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.
In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!
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