Do I Have A Necrotizing Enterocolitis Baby Formula Case?

When a premature infant is fed cows’ milk-based Similac or Enfamil infant formula, there is a significant risk that they will develop Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). Baby formulas that contain cows’ milk have been found to be hazardous, and even deadly when fed to preterm infants.

The attorneys at The Yost Legal Group are actively investigating cases against the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil Premature Infant Formulas.  The manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac infant formulas have known for years that their products are dangerous to preterm infants, but they continue to market them to hospitals and parents anyway. They decided to withhold necessary warnings that their products should not be used to feed babies that were born prematurely.

Thousands of infants have been needlessly harmed by defective Similac and Enfamil baby formulas. The mortality rate for preemies is more than one out of every four babies who are diagnosed with NEC. Parents are seeking necrotizing enterocolitis lawyers and filing Similac lawsuits and Enfamil lawsuits for their premature children.


What Is the Connection Between COWS’ MILK-BASED INFANT FORMULA And the Risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious gastrointestinal disease that affects premature babies. NEC causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract which can lead to bacterial infection of the intestinal wall and even death of the intestinal tissue.  It can lead to further infection when a hole is created in the intestinal wall, allowing bacteria to leak into the baby’s abdomen and bloodstream. This can lead to sepsis even death. In babies with NEC, 1 out of 3 will develop a narrowing of the intestines making it difficult for food to pass through and digest. In some cases, surgery is needed to correct this problem. In cases where NEC has destroyed part of the intestine, a child can suffer from malnutrition because nutrients cannot be absorbed into the body. This can necessitate a lifetime of care, often with the need to be fed through a tube. NEC can also cause delayed growth and developmental delays which require close monitoring.

Nearly all infants who develop Necrotizing Enterocolitis are born preterm. NEC usually develops within 6 weeks after birth. The majority of infants who develop NEC are born before 37-weeks’ gestation. In fact, NEC affects approximately 1 out of every 1,000 premature babies. However, in full-term infants, NEC is rare and only develops in 1 out of every 10,000 infants.

When Did the Scientific Studies Link Cows’ Milk Baby Formulas to Increased Risk Of NEC?

  • The Lancet published a study as far back as 1990 about the connection between the development of NEC in infants who were fed cows’ milk-based formulas as opposed to those who were fed a diet of breast milk. “In exclusively formula-fed babies confirmed disease was 6-10 times more common than in those fed breast milk alone…” (Breast milk and neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis)
  • Science Daily published an article in 2011 on a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Hospital which found that premature babies who were fed cows’ milk-based formulas were at a significantly higher risk of developing NEC than babies who were fed only human milk. (Formula-fed preemies at higher risk for dangerous GI condition than babies who get donor milk)
  • Another article published in 2018 explains the relationship between a preterm infant’s exposure to cows’ milk products and the subsequent development of NEC.  (The temporal relationship between exposure to bovine milk products and surgical NEC in preterm infants)


What Are Symptoms of NEC?

  • Pain and swelling of the abdomen
  • Changes in a baby’s heart rate and blood pressure
  • Diarrhea and blood in the stool (sometimes not visible)
  • Vomiting that is yellow or green in color
  • Refusing to feed
  • Inability to gain weight
  • Unusual lethargy


How Is NEC Diagnosed?

NEC is diagnosed through various tests, including:

  • Blood tests – to check for bacteria and infection
  • Fecal testing – to detect blood in the stool that is not visible to the human eye
  • CT Scan – to determine if there is damage to the bowel

Which Baby Formula Products Are Involved in the Lawsuit?

Similac Manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, Inc.

  • Similac
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifer Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 30

Enfamil Manufactured by Mead Johnson & Company, LLC and/or Mead Johnson Nutrition Company

  • Enfamil
  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement



If your preterm baby was fed Similac or Enfamil infant formulas and developed necrotizing enterocolitis, you may be entitled to compensation. Thousands of parents are reaching out for answers about whether they need a NEC lawyer or should file a NEC lawsuit. Contact the experienced NEC lawyers at The Yost Legal Group for a free case evaluation. We will start to investigate your case right away. If we determine the defective baby formula likely caused your child harm, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. There is absolutely no cost to you unless we win your case.