On February 28, 2022, the FDA recalled three powdered baby formula brands after receiving reports of infants becoming sick and developing potentially life-threatening bacterial infections due to Cronobacter sakazakii potentially contaminating the formulas. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Cronobacter can lead to infants developing symptoms such as diarrhea, urinary tract infections, stomach pain, and vomiting, to more serious symptoms such as gastrointestinal problems, jaundice, meningitis, sepsis, and even death. The FDA recalls took place after four babies were hospitalized, including one who died, after being fed Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare formula. The illnesses were reported in Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas between September 6, 2021, and December 18, 2021. Abbott Nutrition announced in a statement that they found evidence of Cronobacter in their Sturgis, Michigan facility, but currently have not found any evidence of the bacteria in products produced in other facilities.
The Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers not to use certain Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered formulas manufactured by Abbott. Consumers can check their formula lot numbers which are usually located on the bottom of the formula container.
Unfortunately, these are not the first baby formulas that have been scrutinized. Various manufacturers are already facing several baby formula lawsuits involving premature babies who were fed certain cow milk-based formula and developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is a serious gastrointestinal bacterial infection that invades the intestines and can cause inflammation and decay of the tissue of an infant’s intestinal wall. In serious cases, NEC can cause a hole to form in the intestine and bacteria to escape into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to rapid widespread infections throughout the body, and eventually, cause a life-threatening blood infection known as sepsis.
The link between cow milk-based baby formula and deadly bacterial infections has been known and supported by science for as many as 30 years. Manufacturers of these formulas knew or should have known about this link. Despite this, various manufacturers behind these products have, for many decades, failed to warn healthcare professionals and the public about these risks, and instead advertised their products as just as good or even superior to human breast milk.
If your baby was given Similac, Enfamil, Alimentum, or EleCare baby formula and suffered a bacterial infection such as Cronobacter sakazakii or NEC, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the party’s right to recover. Contact Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner for a free evaluation by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584.