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2023 Update on Baby Formula Lawsuits: NEC Risks and Legal Developments
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2023 Baby Formula Lawsuits: A Comprehensive Legal Update

The baby formula lawsuits as of late 2023 primarily revolve around allegations that certain cow milk-based baby formulas increase the risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) in infants. NEC is a serious condition that can lead to complications like sepsis, intestinal perforation, and even death. The primary litigations in this matter are multidistrict litigations (MDLs) pending before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois. 

Key Points: 

  • Multidistrict Litigation: As of November 16, 2023, there were 290 necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) baby formula lawsuits pending in multidistrict litigation (MDL 3026) before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois. 
  • Increasing Number of Cases: The litigation has seen a significant increase in cases over the year. In September 2023, 83 new cases were added, bringing the total to 263 active cases in the MDL, a considerable rise from only 97 cases at the start of the year. 
  • Allegations Against Specific Brands: The lawsuits claim that certain cow milk-based baby formulas, particularly those from brands like Similac and Enfamil, increase the risk of NEC in infants, a condition that can lead to severe health complications. 
  • Serious Health Risks: NEC, the condition at the center of these lawsuits, can lead to serious complications, including sepsis, perforation of the intestine, and even death. 
  • Accusations Against Manufacturers: Major baby formula manufacturers like Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories are accused of failing to warn parents about the potential risks of NEC in preterm infants fed with their cow’s milk-based formulas. 

 

As of November 16, 2023, there were 290 lawsuits pending in this MDL, specifically addressing the NEC issue. This litigation has been escalating throughout the year; in September 2023, 83 new cases were added to the pre-term infant formula NEC class action MDL, bringing the total to 263 active cases. This represented a significant increase from the 97 cases at the start of the year, indicating growing momentum in this litigation. 

The lawsuits target major baby formula manufacturers like Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories. The allegations against these companies are that they failed to adequately warn parents about the potential risks of NEC associated with their cow’s milk-based formulas. This has led to a significant legal challenge for these manufacturers, as they face increasing scrutiny and legal action. 

The litigation is still in its early stages, with no approved settlements or jury verdicts reported as of November 2023. This suggests that the legal process is still unfolding, and the outcomes of these cases remain uncertain. The increase in the number of cases and the involvement of major manufacturers indicate the seriousness and breadth of this issue. 

Certainly, here are five key points regarding the baby formula lawsuits as of late 2023, along with the relevant citations: 

Multidistrict Litigation: As of November 16, 2023, there were 290 necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) baby formula lawsuits pending in multidistrict litigation (MDL 3026) before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois. 

Increasing Number of Cases: The litigation has seen a significant increase in cases over the year. In September 2023, 83 new cases were added, bringing the total to 263 active cases in the MDL, a considerable rise from only 97 cases at the start of the year. 

Allegations Against Specific Brands: The lawsuits claim that certain cow milk-based baby formulas, particularly those from brands like Similac and Enfamil, increase the risk of NEC in infants, a condition that can lead to severe health complications. 

Serious Health Risks: NEC, the condition at the center of these lawsuits, can lead to serious complications, including sepsis, perforation of the intestine, and even death. 

Accusations Against Manufacturers: Major baby formula manufacturers like Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories are accused of failing to warn parents about the potential risks of NEC in preterm infants fed with their cow’s milk-based formulas. 

Citations 

  • Drugwatch (2023). “Toxic Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit: October 2023 NEC Suit Update” – This source provides information about the number of lawsuits pending as of November 16, 2023, in the multidistrict litigation (MDL 3026) and the status of the litigation. 
  • Miller & Zois (2023). “NEC Formula Lawsuit | Settlement Amounts | Nov 2023 Update” – This article updates on the number of cases added to the pre-term infant formula NEC class action MDL over the summer of 2023, indicating a significant increase in litigation cases. 
  • TorHoerman Law (2023). “[2023 Update] Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit Payout & Settlements” – This source discusses the specifics of the NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit, including allegations against specific cow milk-based formulas and the health risks associated with NEC. 
  • Drugwatch (2023). “Similac Lawsuit: October 2023 NEC Baby Formula Suit Update” – Provides details about the total number of Similac and Enfamil lawsuits filed in the MDL and the allegations against these infant formula products. 
  • Schmidt & Clark, LLP (2023). “Massachusetts NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit (2023 Update)” – This article outlines the accusations against baby formula manufacturers like Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, including their alleged failure to warn about the risks of NEC. 

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