Four NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits Selected for Bellwether Trials

Four NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits Selected for Bellwether Trials

Families nationwide are filing lawsuits on behalf of children who allegedly developed severe health complications from Similac and Enfamil formulas. These formulas, meant to nourish and nurture, have been linked to a terrifying condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies. Recently, the court has selected a group of four NEC baby formula lawsuits to serve as bellwether trials. These trials carry significant weight because they provide insights into how juries will respond to evidence and projected settlement amounts.  

The Troubling Backstory on NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits 

The number of NEC baby formula lawsuits filed in federal court has swelled to 275. These lawsuits are led by families whose infants developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a devastating and sometimes fatal intestinal disease. Premature infants fed Similac and Enfamil formulas have reportedly suffered NEC complications, necessitating emergency surgeries to remove sections of the intestines and, in some cases, resulting in fatal injuries.  

NEC baby formula lawsuits accuse manufacturers Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson of knowing about the risks of NEC in premature infants but failing to warn healthcare providers or caregivers.   

Four NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits Selected for Bellwether Trials 

Initially, 12 lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson were selected as possible bellwether candidates. Following a rigorous examination, the court narrowed down the 12 potential to eight. On October 25, U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer issued an order listing the four final cases that both plaintiffs and defendants have selected to be the inaugural bellwether trials. 

A Closer Look into the Four NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits Selected for Bellwether Trials 

These cases, each marked by tragedy and grievous loss, represent the diverse circumstances in which NEC has affected families. 

First, one of the selected lawsuits, filed solely against Abbott Laboratories, is a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Ericka Mar of Kentucky. Her claim involves her premature daughter, RaiLee, who tragically succumbed to NEC after being fed Similac cow’s milk-based infant formula while in the NICU. RaiLee’s life died at just 15 days old. 

The second lawsuit, filed against Mead Johnson by Alexis Inman, originated in June 2022. Inman’s infant, identified only as D.W., also tragically passed away due to NEC. 

Two of the chosen lawsuits name both Abbott and Mead Johnson as defendants. In one such case, the parents of Deondrick W. Brown, Jr., filed a wrongful death lawsuit, asserting that the Louisiana infant lost his life to NEC in September 2021. Deondrick was born prematurely and fed Similac and Enfamil products. 

The other lawsuit, filed by Keosha Diggs of Maryland in September 2022 against both companies, is the final bellwether trial. In her case, her son, identified as K.B., survived NEC after being fed both Similac and Enfamil infant formula products. However, he may experience long-term health implications throughout his life. 

NEC Baby Formula Litigation Going Forward 

Judge Pallmeyer will space the bellwether trials approximately 12 weeks apart. Moreover, these cases might go to trial by the second half of 2024.  

The Lake Law Firm is here for you if your child developed NEC after consuming Similac or Enfamil formula. We recognize that no amount of compensation can make amends for the suffering you and your family endured. However, a lawsuit can help you hold manufacturers accountable. Call (888) 525-3529 today to learn if you qualify for a NEC baby formula lawsuit.