Doctors have always recommended that prematurely born children should be fed baby formula to offset their initial low birth weight and help their early development, but recent evidence suggests that this approach might not be as safe as previously thought. According to a scientific study, some cow-milk-based baby formula products, cause an increased risk of dangerous digestive diseases. One of the main concerns, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), is potentially life-threatening for newborn children, which has many parents questioning why the product was on store shelves in the first place
What Is NEC?
NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis) is a serious gastrointestinal disorder that presents as intestinal injury or inflammation of the baby’s intestines. It can lead to necrosis, organ failure, and potentially death. It initially sickens premature infants or newborns and presents as bowel tissue deterioration.
This weakens the intestine and can cause it to rupture. When that happens, the premature infant can feel:
- Blood Poisoning
- Loss of the body’s intestines
- Permanent blindness
- Cerebral Palsy
- Nerve damage
In general cases, an NEC baby experiences major, tragic injuries. At worst, an NEC premature infant can lead to loss of life.
What is NEC in Babies?
In a normal digestive canal, millions of bacteria live in the intestines and aid with digestion. The bacteria are called “normal flora.” Without them, food digestion and the fetching of nutrients would be much more difficult, if not impossible.
In an NEC newborn, normal flora, plus dangerous bacteria damage the intestine and cause a perforation. Often, this extends through the sides of the bowel, and the contents leak into the abdomen.
There on, bacteria can enter the premature infant’s blood, which can cause toxicity that leads to an infection. Necrotizing Enterocolitis causes several health problems and is life-threatening.
How to search for a Baby Formula Lawsuit Attorney
In case a premature baby develops NEC after being fed Enfamil or Similac formula, parents would need an experienced attorney. Search could be started with ones state or local bar association.
Websites like chaffinluhana.com can help you get in touch with a lawyer who handles NEC lawsuits. You can also ask colleagues, friends, or family for recommendations. If someone had a good experience, consider interviewing that lawyer. Or ask that lawyer to refer you to someone who might have the right experience to take your case.
Questions to Ask Potential NEC Lawyers
Once found a potential attorney for your infant formula lawsuit, you’ll want to ask the right questions. Your questions will depend on whether you’re filing a product liability claim against the makers of Enfamil and Similac, the medical providers who gave it to your child, or both. Here are some sample questions:
- How long have you been practicing personal injury law? (A lawyer who has more years of experience isn’t necessarily better than a newer attorney, but it’s an important factor to consider.)
- Have you sued manufacturers like Mead-Johnson and Abbot Laboratories?
- Have you sued medical professionals and hospitals for medical malpractice?
- What is your experience with product liability claims, specifically failure-to-warn claims?
- How many cases have you taken to trial? (Most cases don’t make it to trial, but you want a lawyer who can credibly threaten to go to trial during settlement negotiations and who can present a case to a jury if you get to that point.)
- How will you get paid? (Most personal injury lawyers get paid on a contingency fee basis. That means if you lose, you don’t pay a fee. If you win, the lawyer takes a percentage of what you receive—usually around one-third of the total. Win or lose, you may be on the hook for costs and expenses like court filing fees and expert witness fees.)
How Long Do I Have to File a Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Lawsuit?
A “statute of limitations” is a law that puts a strict time limit on your right to file a lawsuit. Each state and the federal government sets its own deadlines for different types of cases. In most states, you’ll have two to three years to get a personal injury lawsuit filed.