Formula Manufacturers Sued Over Potential Link to Necrotizing Enterocolitis

A plaintiff parent filed suit on Monday as the parent of a minor. The suit was filed in the Central District of California Western Division against defendants Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Mead Johnson & Company, LLC and Mead Johnson Nutrition Company. The mother, Latrice Richardson, is suing the defendants on behalf of her infant child, who she claims sustained injuries as a “direct and proximate result of consumption of Defendants’ unreasonably dangerous cow’s milk-based products.”

The defendants manufacture, produce, design formulas for, and market premature infant formula products, the complaint said. Some of their products include Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier, Enfacare Powder, and Similac Special Care.

The complaint explained that the minor plaintiff was prematurely born on January 18, 2020 and was immediately placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He was fed the defendant’s products, both Similac and Enfamil, and was subsequently diagnosed with Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). As a result of the NEC, the newborn had to undergo surgery to remove a third of his small and large intestines.

Despite a link between NEC and cow milk-based products, the plaintiff that the defendants “did nothing to change their product, packaging, guidelines, instructions, and/or warnings.” The plaintiff asserts that the defendants still market their products despite scientific advancements that have made alternative formulas, which are allegedly safer, available.

Due to the injuries sustained by the child as a result of the defendant’s formula, the plaintiff contends that she suffered extensive financial loss, emotional harm, and distress. The complaint cites failure to warn, strict liability for defective product, and negligence against all defendants. Richardson is seeking a trial by jury, general and special damages, interest, litigation costs, any other relief deemed proper by the court.

Similar suits have been filed against the defendants regarding other infants who have developed NEC after being fed the defendants’ cow’s milk-based products.

The plaintiff in this case, as well as the plaintiffs in two parallel suits, are represented by Gomez Trial Attorneys and Dixon Diab & Chambers.