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Infant formula and baby food products have made headlines recently for placing the health of children at risk. From unacceptable levels of toxic heavy metals to concerns over necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), the industry has faced a number of serious accusations. Families need safe and reliable formula for their babies more than ever. However, another formula manufacturer has come under fire. Abbott Nutrition issued an infant formula recall due to infant deaths and illnesses caused by bacterial infections. Did your baby develop health complications after ingesting formula tainted with Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport? Reach out today to speak with an attorney at The Lake Law Firm about how an infant formula recall lawsuit can help you.
Our law firm is currently handling lawsuits on behalf of consumers who used specific infant formulas, including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. Reports of bacterial infections in infants who consumed these infant powder formulas have prompted recalls and an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cases brought against infant formula manufacturers claim that babies have required hospitalization, and some have even died due to contaminated formula. We recognize that a lawsuit cannot reverse the reckless actions of these companies, but one of our experienced infant formula lawyers can support you in your quest for justice.
Abbott Laboratories, based in Illinois, is a multinational and longstanding medical device and healthcare company. The company consists of four divisions, each with a particular focus. One segment, Abbott Nutrition, aims to provide nutritional products for every stage of life. Abbott Nutrition manufactures popular nutrition shakes and powders like Pediasure, Ensure, and Pedialyte. It also sells various powdered formulas like Similac and EleCare, designed to assist in a baby’s development and curated to an infant’s specific needs or deficiencies.
On February 17, 2022, baby formula manufacturer Abbott Nutrition voluntarily recalled three powdered formulas produced at its facility in Sturgis, Michigan. The recall affected Abbott Nutrition’s Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered formula products. Originally, four consumer complaints related to bacterial contamination of Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport spurred this recall. In a statement issued by the company, Abbott did find evidence of Cronobacter sakazakii in the Michigan facility.
The FDA stated that all five reports (four Cronobacter and one Salmonella Newport) resulted in hospitalizations, and Cronobacter infections may have contributed to two deaths.
The FDA first issued an alert on February 17, warning parents not to use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formula manufactured by Abbott Nutrition following the voluntary recall. The agency’s warning contained specific information regarding the lots of baby formula affected. On February 18, the FDA concluded its inspection of the Michigan facility and found several positive Cronobacter results from environmental samples. The FDA urged consumers to avoid using or purchasing the recalled products. Cronobacter infections can be especially dangerous for newborn infants, leading to sepsis or meningitis.
Furthermore, on February 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an additional Cronobacter sakazakii illness linked to Abbott’s Similac PM 60/40 at the same Michigan facility. Abbott Nutrition issued another voluntary recall following the report since the initial recall did not include this type of Similac as it is a specialty formula intended for infants who benefit from lower mineral intake.
Illnesses linked to the contaminated formula were reported in Ohio, Minnesota, and Texas between September 16, 2021, and January 4, 2022. The FDA stated that Abbott Nutrition failed to properly clean surfaces to protect formula products from contamination. Yet due to the nationwide baby formula shortage, Abbott resumed production at the Sturgis, Michigan, facility in June 2022.
These lawsuits include claims of bacterial infections, specifically Cronobacter infections. Cronobacter sakazakii is a germ found naturally in the environment. These germs thrive in dry foods such as powdered infant formula, powdered milk, herbal teas, and starches. Cronobacter bacteria infections prove particularly harmful and even life-threatening for infants. Therefore, tainted infant formulas can lead to:
Families are filing lawsuits against Abbott Nutrition for its contaminated powdered infant formulas. These lawsuits claim Abbott Nutrition distributed hazardous formulas that led to several infections, hospitalizations, and the deaths of innocent babies. Plaintiffs allege that their infants developed life-threatening bacterial infections after ingesting the company’s powdered infant formula infected with Cronobacter sakazakii.
Currently, there are two multidistrict litigations (MDL) filed against Abbott. Multidistrict litigation is when cases with similar allegations are joined in federal court to streamline the proceedings.
However, one MDL deals with claims of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), while the other focuses on Cronobacter sakazakii illnesses potentially tied to the February 2022 recall. The JPML panel consolidated lawsuits concerning Cronobacter infections in infants who consumed the reportedly tainted infant formula into MDL-3037. Both MDLs have been assigned to the Northern District of Illinois, the location of Abbott’s headquarters. As of April 2023, 56 cases are pending under MDL-3037.
Tainted powdered baby formula can permanently impact the lives of infants and their families. With the help of our knowledgeable infant formula attorneys, you may receive compensation for any or all of the following:
Families of children who suffered injury or death due to contaminated formula deserve justice and compensation from the negligent companies at fault. Abbott Nutrition, like any manufacturer, is responsible for providing safe products for consumers. Unfortunately, several families relied on Abbott Nutrition to provide sustenance for their growing infants, but instead, many endured inconsolable losses. We understand that your loss cannot be quantified or rectified by any sum of money. But a lawsuit may help you recover compensation and incite change in company practices to prevent future harm to children. To find out if you are eligible for compensation for contaminated infant formula, reach out to our team today.
The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. An infant formula recall lawyer will advocate for you and your rights. Contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 525-3529 or submit an inquiry on this page.