Cow’s Milk-Based Formulas Lawsuits

Mead Johnson & Company, and Abbott Laboratories Inc., are at the center of a lawsuit filed by the parents of a 34-day-old infant who died from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). 

According to the lawsuit, baby Sanders was born prematurely on December 25, 2020, and was fed baby formulas produced by the two companies intravenously. By January 25, 2021, the baby had developed the fatal gastrointestinal disease, NEC, that led to his death on January 27, 2021. This lawsuit alleges that baby Sander’s death directly resulted from consuming the defendants’ cow milk-based formulas that were unreasonably dangerous.

The Companies Knew the Dangers

The lawsuit is based on the two companies’ failure to stop the use of cow milk in creating the baby formulas as there has been evidence of cow milk having the potential of causing NEC for over three decades now. According to a study published in the Lancet in 1990, the prevalence of NEC was six to ten times higher in children fed cow milk-based formulas compared to other formulas. The report also showed that premature babies fed on milk-based formulas were three times more likely to suffer from NEC than those fed with different formulas or breast milk.

The 1990 study is not the only one showing cow milk in baby formula as a contributory factor to NEC. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics showed a 90% less likelihood of developing surgical NEC for infants fed on human milk and human milk fortifiers. 

According to the lawsuit involving Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, the respondents were aware of the dangers of cow milk to infants and premature babies. Still, they failed to change their formulas or add a warning label on the products’ packages, placing consumers in unreasonable danger. 

Common Symptoms Associated with NEC

NEC symptoms include diarrhea, bloody stool, greenish-yellow vomit, lack of appetite, weight loss, fever, difficulty breathing, and lethargy. If your child shows any of these signs and has been consuming products from these companies, you may want to have them checked by your primary care physician to rule out the chances of NEC. 

According to experts, NEC results in death in almost 50% of all diagnosed cases, so you may need to seek medical intervention as soon as possible to save your child’s life.

Product Liability Law

Under product liability law, a manufacturer is liable for the damages resulting from a defective product. In the case of Abbott and Mead, the lawsuit is anchored on design defects because there is evidence to show the dangers of cow milk products on infants, but they went ahead and used it in their formulas.

“The liability in defective products lies squarely with the manufacturers,” says attorney Jason Schneider of Schneider Hammers. The future could be grim for these two companies if the parents of baby Sanders win the lawsuit as more and more parents are filing lawsuits against the companies for injuries and deaths resulting from their products. 

If your infant is diagnosed with NEC after consuming cow milk-based formulas produced by these two companies, you may want to talk to an injury lawyer to look at the viability of your case.