Following a February 2022 recall of specific lots of baby formula, parents have initiated lawsuits, seeking compensation for infant sicknesses that may be directly attributed to Similac and Enfamil brands. The deaths of two babies triggered Abbott Nutrition to issue a recall of Similac, EleCare and Alimentum batches that were manufactured at its Sturgis, Michigan facility, under which the FDA and Abbott continue to investigate. The issue has expanded to impact users of Enfamil, which is manufactured by Mead Johnson. When consumed, premature infants may suffer from the potential side effect known as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
Parents contend that the cow’s milk-based formula manufacturers should have been aware of the possible reactions that infants may experience and disclose these facts to consumers. The gastrointestinal problems may escalate to conditions that produce holes in the intestines and eventually cause death. The holes provide a pathway for bacteria to escape into the baby’s stomach or blood. Since these risks are life threatening, it should have been presented as a priority to not only recognize but also provide this information to medical providers and the parents of babies. Based on the manufacturer marketing that highlights the safety and health benefits of Similac and Enfamil brands, parents were not aware of the potential dangers associated with consumption.
There is also a concern that nurses and health care providers have fed babies the identified brands in the hospital after birth. Parents have been advised that they may contact their lawyer to learn if their infant was provided a potentially hazardous formula brand in the hospital where their child was born. As a result of the emotional distress and financial hardships caused by the impact of injuries or infant deaths, parents are asking for extensive compensation. The list of the 24 formula brands that have been mentioned in lawsuits include Similac Special Care, Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier, Similac Alimentum, Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare, Enfamil Premature 20 Cal.