Baby Formula Retinopathy of Prematurity/Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

Over the past few years, the media has extensively reported on the controversies concerning baby formula. Several mass torts exist relating to infant formula and baby food, including infants who developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Lawsuits state preterm infants developed the deadly intestinal disease after consuming cow’s milk-based formula. Now, families are citing retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and cerebral palsy as NEC-related injuries caused by infant formula. Does your child suffer from cerebral palsy or ROP? These disorders may be the effects of formula-induced NEC. Speak with our lawyers today to learn more about baby formula retinopathy of prematurity/cerebral palsy lawsuits.

Our law firm is currently accepting cases on behalf of infants who have contracted debilitating health issues from baby formula. Lawsuits allege infant formulas have left babies with cerebral palsy or retinopathy of prematurity.

Understanding Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Necrotizing enterocolitis, also known as NEC, is the death of intestinal tissue. Premature or sick newborns are at a higher risk for this destructive intestinal disease. NEC is one of the leading causes of preterm infant death, with mortality rates ranging from 10% to 50%. Decreased blood flow to the bowels or a bacterial invasion of the bowel can contribute to NEC. When bacteria enter the intestinal wall, it leads to inflammation and cellular destruction. If untreated, perforations may form in the intestines. Bacteria can then spill into the bloodstream or abdomen through these holes. 

Signs an Infant Is Suffering From NEC

Given the death rates associated with NEC, it is important to be vigilant and catch it early. Signs that an infant is experiencing necrotizing enterocolitis include:

  • Lethargy
  • Food intolerance 
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting 
  • Swollen abdomen 
  • Unstable body temperature 

Lawsuits Assert Infant Formula Is Responsible for the Intestinal Disease 

Manufacturers add bovine milk to boost the nutritional value needed for preterm infants. However, the bacteria in a cow’s milk-based formula can infect an infant’s intestines. 

For decades, scientists have documented the correlation between cow’s milk-based formula and NEC. One of the first studies to establish a link between infant formula and the intestinal disorder was in 1990. The research found that infants exclusively fed formula were 20 times more likely to develop NEC. Additional studies over the last thirty years continued to show that cow’s milk-based formula increased the odds of NEC. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics concluded that a human-milk-based diet significantly reduced the chance of NEC in infants. 

Although NEC is an intestinal disease, it can affect the entire body and an infant’s development. For example, research suggests NEC can progress into the brain and retina of infants. Lawsuits state infants contracted cerebral palsy or retinopathy of prematurity after consuming cow’s milk-based formula and surviving NEC. 

Cerebral Palsy and NEC

Surviving necrotizing enterocolitis can burden infants with life-long disabilities. Emerging at the other end of the disease is only the first leg of the battle. Many infants who live through NEC may endure short bowel syndrome or growth delays. However, NEC’s impact can even extend into the brain. When the intestinal contents pour into the bloodstream causing an infection, this infection can travel to the brain. Therefore, studies have linked NEC to severe neurological impairments and disorders. One study discovered that 20% of preterm infants who had NEC developed cerebral palsy. 

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect movement, balance, and posture. This motor disability can be brought on by damage to the developing brain, as with NEC. The severity of CP can vary. Some individuals afflicted with CP may need special equipment or specialized care for life. 

NEC’s Relation to Retinopathy of Prematurity

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is an eye disease that can occur in infants born prematurely. This disorder happens when abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina, which is the light-sensitive area of the eye. There are five stages of ROP, with the final two stages typically resulting in permanent vision damage or loss. If a baby is born prematurely, this can hinder the normal development of the retina’s blood vessels. New abnormal blood vessels will form that can detach the retina entirely. However, there is evidence that NEC can give rise to ROP. 

Research in 2021 determined that infants who require surgical intervention for NEC are at a higher risk of ROP and severe ROP. Furthermore, babies fed breast milk are less likely to develop retinopathy of prematurity. Data compiled from 2001 to 2013 revealed premature infants receiving human milk from their mothers had 46% to 90% lower odds of ROP. Infants on an exclusive breast milk diet were 89% less likely to experience severe ROP than infants fed any formula. 

If you suspect infant formula caused your child’s cerebral palsy or ROP, reach out to The Lake Law Firm today. A baby formula retinopathy of prematurity/cerebral palsy lawsuit can assist you in recovering compensation for your child’s injuries. 

What Do We Know About Baby Formula Retinopathy of Prematurity/Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits?

Families have filed lawsuits for NEC-related complications against baby formula manufacturers. Defendants in baby formula lawsuits include Abbott Laboratories and Meads Johnson for their Similac and Enfamil infant formula products. Plaintiffs accuse manufacturers of failing to warn the public about the dangers of NEC and cow’s milk-based formula for preterm infants. Despite the long-established evidence of NEC in connection to bovine formula, manufacturers have not updated their labeling to warn parents. NEC may have later contributed to cerebral palsy or retinopathy of prematurity in affected infants. 

Baby formula-NEC claims are consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Northern Illinois. As of December 2022, MDL-3026 contains 88 cases filed by families with infants injured by cow’s milk-based formula. Parents are seeking justice against formula producers who did not change their labeling to inform consumers about permanent disabilities such as cerebral palsy or retinopathy of prematurity. 

Can I Recover Compensation in a Baby Formula Retinopathy of Prematurity/Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

If your infant has developed cerebral palsy or retinopathy of prematurity due to baby formula, you may be entitled to compensation for any or all of the following: 

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Past and future pain and suffering;
  • Loss of wages; and
  • Other economic losses related to your injury.

Pursuing a lawsuit can be a challenging or frightening experience when you do it alone. However, The Lake Law Firm is willing and able to serve you in a baby formula retinopathy of prematurity/cerebral palsy lawsuit. Our lawyers understand the stresses families experience when their child is sick. We know that caring for your child is your top priority. That is why our lawyers can tend to your lawsuit while you focus on your child’s well-being. Our accomplished and compassionate lawyers are on standby to speak with you about your potential claim today. 

How Our Law Firm Can Help You 

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. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 525-3529 or submit an inquiry on this page.