Recent studies have revealed that some formulas have links to a deadly condition in infants. Researchers have linked cow’s milk to a higher risk of developing Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a gastrointestinal disorder.
NEC causes inflammation and destruction of an infant’s intestinal wall. This condition leads to blood poisoning, infection, and even death. This disease mainly manifests in premature and ill newborns. The condition appears within the first two weeks of birth while the baby is still taking formula in the hospital.
What Causes NEC?
NEC affects almost 10% of premature babies. No one knows the exact cause of the disease, but it is clear that it affects formula feeding and premature babies. Researchers believe that this is a result of the thin intestine lining of the babies.
If not treated, NEC causes the intestine tissue to die, which results in intestinal perforations. These perforations allow bacteria to seep through the baby’s abdomen and bloodstream. This leads to near or fatal infections, short bowel syndrome, narrowing of the intestines, failure to thrive, and delays in development.
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Lack of appetite
- Changes in babies’ blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and breathing
- Green or yellow vomit
- No weight gain
- Bloody diarrhea
Due to their bacterial makeup, premature babies find it harder to digest cow-based milk formulas. Infant formula sterility may not be 100%, which may also be a factor due to bacterial infections.
In 1990, a study on 926 preterm babies published in the Lancet medical journal indicated that formula-fed preterm infants have a six to ten higher chance of developing NEC than breast-fed babies.
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that mother’s milk is the best for a preterm baby. In cases where mother’s milk was not an option, getting donor milk from a human mother was a better idea.
In 2014, another published study revealed that the risk of NEC in a cow’s milk formula in preterm babies went up by 320% compared to other babies.
Do I Have a Case?
Nobody warns parents about the possibility of formula making their babies ill. Baby formula companies do not include warning labels on their products. Companies should warn parents about the potential risk of a life-threatening disease due to taking cow-milk-based formula. Whether doctors know about this risk is still unclear.
Parents whose babies have developed NEC after taking baby formula are filing baby formula lawsuits against the baby formula manufacturers. If you believe your baby suffered from NEC or death due to the formula, an experienced lawyer from the Elrod Law Firm can help you file a lawsuit.
Deadline to File a Claim
All states have different deadlines to file a product liability claim. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is four years. These statutes give you a time limit to file your claim and recover compensation for losses and damages. Failure to honor the statute of limitation means your claim becomes null.
What Compensation Can You Get in a Baby Formula Lawsuit?
If your baby gets NEC from feeding on formula while in the neonatal intensive care unit, you could seek the following damages with the help of an Elrod Lawyer:
- Medical expenses for your baby, past and future.
- Physical and mental pain and suffering resulting from your baby’s illness
- Loss of wages due to taking time off to stay in hospital
- Other financial losses experienced due to the disease
- Punitive damages
A compensation claim ensures you receive adequate compensation for medical bills, pain, suffering, and lost wages. These cases are not only for people with babies who died. If your child suffered from NEC and recovered, you still have legal options and grounds for compensation claims.
A good compensation claims lawyer will help you navigate the complex process of filing a lawsuit. They have more experience with such cases and will help you with the errors and omissions that might jeopardize your case.
Q: Who can File a Baby Formula Lawsuit?
Any parent whose premature infant fed on formula while in the neonatal care unit.
Q: Is NEC Fatal?
NEC is almost always fatal if not treated on time.
Q: Can I still sue even when my baby recovers?
Yes, you can still sue as you have legal grounds for compensation.