Do I Need a Lawyer for an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

Do I Need a Lawyer for an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

Newborn babies are extremely vulnerable, especially when they are born prematurely. In some cases, the mother's milk is unavailable or must be supplemented with baby formula. Parents trust makers of infant formulas to take all necessary measures to ensure their products are safe for their precious children. But for some unfortunate families, that wasn't the case. As a result, some preemies developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a distressing disease that occurs when bacteria invade the intestine walls. 

Parents are filing NEC baby formula lawsuits against Enfamil and Similac, claiming the infant formula makers failed to warn them that feeding their infants cow’s milk-based formula could put them at risk of this devastating intestinal disease. Having a lawyer for an NEC baby formula lawsuit can improve your chances of recovering just compensation.

How Does Baby Formula Cause NEC? 

Premature babies (babies born at less than 37 weeks gestation) are extremely vulnerable to infections and other complications. The smaller and more premature the infant, the greater their risk of developing NEC. Approximately 80% of babies born weighing less than 4.5 pounds develop the disease. 

NEC is a devastating diagnosis that presents a few days to weeks after birth. Early treatment improves recovery. In more severe cases, however, the intestines can become inflamed and perforate, allowing bacteria to leak into the abdomen or bloodstream. Approximately 30% of infants diagnosed with NEC require surgery, and 20-30% of those cases are fatal. About half of the infants who survive a serious NEC infection will experience life-long complications. 

Why Are Families Filing NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits? 

Research dating back three decades has established that one of the primary causes of NEC in premature infants was cow’s milk-based formulas. In 1990, The Lancet published a study that found that premature babies fed cow- (or bovine-) derived formulas were 6 to 10 times more likely to develop NEC than preemies fed breastmilk. Premature infants whose breastmilk was supplemented with cow's milk-based formula were 3 times more likely to get NEC. 

However, Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, makers of Enfamil and Similac, respectively, never warned parents or medical professionals about the risk cow’s based infant formulas posed to premature babies. 

Parents are filing NEC baby formula lawsuits to hold these companies accountable and recover financial compensation for the extensive financial losses and emotional distress of watching their tiny infants suffer. An experienced product liability lawyer can offer much-needed assistance in these families' time of need. 

What Compensation is Available in a NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

The compensation you may qualify for in an NEC baby formula lawsuit can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case and the laws in your jurisdiction. It's essential to consult with a personal injury or product liability lawyer to get a clear understanding of the potential compensation you may be entitled to. That being said, here are some types of compensation that might be sought in a baby formula lawsuit:

  • Medical Expenses: You may be eligible to receive compensation for all past, current, and future medical expenses related to your baby's intestinal disease caused by the baby formula. This can include hospital bills, doctor's visits, medications, surgeries, therapy, and any other necessary medical treatments.
  • Pain and Suffering: In personal injury cases, including those related to baby formula injuries, you may seek compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering your baby experienced as a result of the intestinal disease. This can include the distress and discomfort caused to your baby and your family due to the condition.
  • Emotional Distress: If witnessing your baby's suffering caused significant emotional distress, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the emotional impact on you and your family.
  • Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation: If your baby's intestinal disease requires ongoing care, therapy, or rehabilitation, you may be able to claim compensation for these future expenses.
  • Special Education and Accommodations: If your baby's condition results in special educational needs or requires accommodations, you may seek compensation for these additional costs.
  • Lost Wages: If you or your partner had to take time off work to care for your baby or attend medical appointments, you might be able to claim compensation for lost income.

How Can a Lawyer for an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit Help Me? 

Here are some ways a lawyer may assist you:

Case Evaluation

A lawyer can review the details of your case, including medical records and any evidence related to the baby formula, to assess the strength of your claim. They can help determine if there's a viable legal basis for pursuing a lawsuit.

An experienced lawyer can guide you through the legal process, explaining your rights and the potential options available to seek compensation for your baby's injuries.


A lawyer can thoroughly investigate the baby formula and its manufacturing process to determine if there were any defects or issues that could have caused your baby's intestinal disease other than the formulation involving cow's milk.

Expert Witnesses

If necessary, a lawyer can work with medical experts who can provide testimony regarding the link between the baby formula and your baby's condition. These experts can strengthen your case by providing professional opinions and analyses.


Your lawyer can handle communication and negotiations with the infant formula manufacturer, their legal representatives, or insurance companies on your behalf. They will work to reach a fair settlement for your baby's injuries and related expenses.

Court Representation

If a settlement cannot be reached, a lawyer can represent you in court, presenting your case and advocating for your right to seek compensation.

Compensatory Damages

A lawyer can help you seek compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care and treatment, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other damages related to your baby's injuries.

If you believe that baby formula caused harm to your baby, it's essential to consult with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible to understand your options and protect your rights. They can provide personalized legal advice and support throughout the process.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer for your NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

NEC is a devastating diagnosis, and even more heart-wrenching when you learn the disease could have been prevented had formula makers like Similac and Enfamil warned that its cow's milk-based formulas posed significant risks to premature infants. If your premature baby was given infant formula and developed NEC, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Contact our law firm today at 866-467-0943 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation, and let’s discuss your case. 


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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