Progress in Infant Formula Litigation: Upcoming Bellwether Trials

The federal Infant Formula litigation has been consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Illinois. The first bellwether trials are expected to occur in early 2025.

For over three decades, research has consistently shown that feeding premature infants cow’s milk-based formulas is a leading cause of a serious condition known as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Despite the clear scientific evidence linking cow’s milk-based formulas to NEC, major brands like Enfamil and Similac have yet to include warnings about this risk on their products. This remains a critical concern for both parents and healthcare providers.

What is NEC?

  • NEC predominantly affects premature babies.
  • It involves inflammation and tissue death in the intestines.
  • A hole may form in the baby’s intestine, allowing bacteria to leak into the abdomen or bloodstream.
  • NEC typically develops within two to six weeks after birth.

Types of NEC:

NEC is classified into one of four types based on symptoms and the circumstances leading up to the condition:

  • Classic NEC: Commonly affects infants born before 28 weeks of pregnancy and occurs suddenly without warning.
  • Transfusion-associated NEC: Develops within three days of a blood transfusion.
  • Atypical NEC: Rarely occurs in the first week of life or before the first feeding.
  • Term infant NEC: occurs in babies born full-term. These infants often have a congenital disability or other problems at birth, such as a genetic heart condition, gastroschisis, or low oxygen levels.

We are fighting for change and justice for all the families who have been affected. Parents who have witnessed their babies battle this heartbreaking condition have faced not only significant financial burdens but also emotional distress, seeing their infants endure suffering and, in some cases, death.

Beasley Allen has filed cases in Madison County, IL, which are currently pending defendants appeal of jurisdictional issues. All briefs have been filed and we await the Court’s ruling. We hope the appeals will be resolved soon, so we can resume our trial schedule in 2024. In the meantime, experts are being deposed and discovery continues.

NEC Baby Formula

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