The case of Crawford v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc. is one of the more recent examples of an NEC infant formula trial. Plaintiff, Candace Crawford, brought the case on behalf of her deceased baby ZaRiyah Crawford. The lawsuit was filed against Abbott Laboratories, Inc. and Mead Johnson Nutrition in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Baby ZaRiyah was born prematurely (34 weeks gestational age) at North Florida Regional Medical Center on December 2, 2019. ZaRiyah had a birth weight of only 3 pounds and 14 ounces, which makes rapid weight gain very important for her. his health. After her birth, ZaRiyah was sent to the NICU.
During the first 3 days in the NICU, Baby ZaRiyah was fed her mother’s expressed breast milk combined with donor breast milk. After these first 3 days, however, ZaRiyah was fed a combination of human breast milk supplemented with Enfamil and Similac cow’s milk formulas.
Within days of starting the cow’s milk formula, Baby ZaRiyah was very restless and uncomfortable, with a firm abdomen and hypoactive bowel sounds in the upper and lower left quadrants, and none on the right.
Baby ZaRiyah was diagnosed with Necrotizing enterocolitis (ENC) the same day, and immediately transferred to the University of Florida Shands Children’s Hospital NICU. While in Shands, ZaRiyah was forced to undergo invasive exploratory surgery on December 9, 2019, which revealed that no part of her bowel was recoverable due to extensive necrosis. Baby Za’Riyah suffered from total necrotizing enterocolitis; his prognosis was grim.
After exploratory surgery, Baby Za’Riyah continued to decline despite maximum medical intervention. On December 11, 2019, Baby Za’Riyah’s parents made a compassionate decision to withdraw the rescue measures and focus on comfort care. Baby Za’Riyah died in his mother’s arms at 5:26 p.m. on December 11, 2019 from necrotizing enterocolitis.
Lawsuit highlights insufficient NEC warnings on Similac and Enfamil
The complaint in the Crawford The Enfamil lawsuit presents a two-pronged attack on the formulators. First, the complaint details the scientific evidence that cow’s milk formulas can cause ECNs when given to premature infants. Paragraphs numbered 23-39 of the complaint summarize all the relevant medical studies on cattle formula and infant formula for premature babies dating back to 1990. This is one of the best and most comprehensive summaries. medical evidence linking infant formula and infant formula that we have seen in an Enfamil or Similac NEC lawsuit.
The second branch of the Crawford complaint sets out detailed charges against the defendants accusing them of deliberately ignoring the evidence linking the NEC to the formula and of not including warnings about this risk on the labeling of their products:
Despite knowledge of the significant health risks posed to premature infants ingesting cow’s milk products, including the significant risk of NEC and death, the defendants have failed to warn parents or caregivers of the risk. of NEC, and the defendants have not provided any instruction or advice on how to properly use its cow’s milk products in order to reduce the risk or avoid NEC or death.
The complaint then highlights the complete lack of warning in product labels for Enfamil or Similac regarding the risks of NEC in premature babies. The complaint cites the entire product labeling information of Enfamil and Similac to illustrate the absence of any mention of the risk of NEC to premature infants.
Misleading promotion of breast milk fortifiers
The Crawford lawsuit also specifically accuses Abbott and Mead Johnson of a deliberate effort to promote new breast milk fortifying products to trick consumers into believing they are safe products made from human milk. According to the complaint, the term product “enriching for human milk” (used by both Abbott and Mead Johnson) is intentionally misleading because it implies that the product is derived from “human” milk, when in fact it is. made from cow’s milk just like regular milk formula:
The defendants separately designed concurrent, systematic, powerful and deceptive marketing campaigns to persuade physicians and parents to believe that: (1) cow’s milk formulas and tonics are safe; (2) Cow’s milk products are equal or even better substitutes for breast milk; and (3) physicians consider their cow’s milk products a top choice. Likewise, the defendants market their products for premature infants as necessary for growth and perfectly safe for premature infants, despite the knowledge of the extreme risks posed by cow’s milk products and failure to warn of the fatal disease of NEC and risk of death.
File a lawsuit for NEC infant formula
If your premature baby developed NEC after being fed Similac, Enfamil, or another cattle formula, our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit for NEC and seek compensation from the formula manufacturers.