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Necrotizing enterocolitis is a gastrointestinal disease that almost exclusively affects infants born before the 37th week of pregnancy (premature babies). It creates intestinal inflammation, causing cells to die and holes to form. This then allows harmful and potentially deadly bacteria to leak in and infect the intestines. 

Studies have linked bovine-based / cow’s milk formulas to an increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants.

Bovine-based formulas commonly distributed at hospital NICUs and gifted from hospitals include: Enfamil, Similac, Earth’s Best, Happy Baby, Go & Grow, Gerber, Parent’s Choice, Baby’s Only, Loulouka, Holle, Kendamil, Bobbie, and Lebenswert.

If your child received a bovine-based formula while under the care of a hospital, or you receive a bovine-based formula as a present from the hospital, and your child was subsequently diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis, you may qualify for a toxic baby formula lawsuit.

Baby Formulas Linked to NEC

Premature childbirth is a situation wrought with stress, uncertainty, and vulnerability. For many infants, there is no room for error in ensuring their health and growth, and this is especially true in regards to your child’s nutrition. 

However, your premature child’s health may be compromised if they have been fed baby formula based from cow’s milk. Such formulas have recently been linked to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a gastrointestinal disease found in premature infants. If your child has suffered from the deadly necrotizing enterocolitis disease after being administered bovine-based formula, you may be eligible for a toxic baby formula lawsuit.

In 2017, studies showed that bovine-based formulas led to an increased risk of developing NEC when compared to preterm infants fed with human milk. In addition, human milk is found to be the safest and most reliable source of nutrition for babies, especially those at risk of NEC. Toxic baby formula is a real threat to premature infants. Ask your doctor if moving off of bovine-based formulas is the right choice for you.

toxic baby formula; cow-based milk formula; bovine based formula; NEC disease; Necrotizing Enterocolitis; Gastrointestinal disease; intestinal inflamation; intestinal infection;

What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a gastrointestinal disease that almost exclusively affects infants born before the 37th week of pregnancy (premature babies). It creates intestinal inflammation, causing cells to die and holes to form. This then allows harmful and potentially deadly bacteria to leak in and infect the intestines. 

What Causes NEC?

While the direct source of NEC cases is inconsistent and can vary by child, there are several recurring factors that healthcare experts have identified:

  • Feeding with bovine-based (cow’s milk) formula 
  • Insufficient blood flow to the intestines after birth
  • Underdeveloped intestine
  • Intestinal injury
  • Viral or bacterial infection of the intestines


There have also been a few instances of NEC appearing in several infants in the same neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at once. Necrotizing enterocolitis itself is not contagious, so this could indicate that premature babies on the same toxic baby formula in the NICU could be contracting the disease at the same time. These cases are few and far between, but it could potentially be an indicator of toxic baby formula in a specific NICU.


Symptoms of NEC

The condition’s danger can range from mild to fatal, and you must recognize the following symptoms if you believe your child is at risk:

  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Changes in body temperature and breathing
  • Diarrhea with bloody stool
  • Green or yellow vomit
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to eat and lack of weight gain


Healthcare providers can diagnose NEC through tests checking for a swollen belly, blood tests, fecal tests, and x-rays.


How Dangerous is NEC?

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a disease that can have fatal consequences if left untreated. Babies that weigh 5.5 lbs and up can face mortality rates up to 20%. Smaller infants fare even worse. Among babies 3.3 lbs and lower, the mortality rate can reach 50%. It is a condition that needs immediate treatment. However, current treatments for NEC are effective, and most treated babies fully recover without suffering lasting damage.     


Can I Prevent NEC?

In some hospitals, the NICU may recommend feeding your premature infant bovine-based formulas. If they do, be sure to ask about the risks associated with NEC. If NEC is a threat, request a formula not made from cow’s milk, and ask for a full review of your child’s nutrition plan. 

If feasible, stop feeding your baby bovine-based formula in favor of breastfeeding. Doing so can significantly increase your chances of avoiding NEC. The CDC recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for 6 months after birth. Statistically, doing this is difficult, but it can prove beneficial for your child in the future. Other benefits of breastfeeding include providing growth hormones, immune system boosts, and lower blood pressure in infants.

Another alternative healthcare providers may offer is to improve your child’s immune system through corticosteroid injections before birth. The injection improves an unborn child’s health and may reduce the risk of contracting lung and intestinal issues. Be sure to ask your doctor if either of these courses of action could be suitable for you and your circumstances.


Toxic Baby Formulas

Many of the formulas administered in hospitals contain cow’s milk and can potentially be harmful to your child. Here are popular bovine-based formulas to be aware of:

  • Formulas used in NICUs
  • Formulas gifted from hospitals
  • Enfamil
  • Similac
  • Earth’s Best
  • Happy Baby
  • Go & Grow
  • Gerber
  • Parent’s Choice
  • Baby’s Only
  • Loulouka
  • Holle
  • Kendamil
  • Bobbie
  • Lebenswert


If your hospital administers any of these formulas in the NICU, consult with them on the best course of action for you and your child. Stopping use and switching to breastfeeding or other alternatives may help avoid necrotizing enterocolitis.

What Can I Do If My Child Has Been Affected by NEC?

If you and your child have suffered from the dangers of NEC, you may be eligible for a product liability or medical malpractice lawsuit and may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about NEC from bovine-based formulas or to get a consultation, contact a toxic baby formula NEC injury lawyer from TorHoerman Law today.


Mitigate Injuries

If your child has developed necrotizing enterocolitis, seek treatment immediately. In most cases, NEC is treated either medically or surgically. If the intestine is not yet perforated, medical treatment is usually applied first. For 60-80% of cases, the child does not need surgery. Steps taken in medical treatment include:

  • Replacing regular feeding in favor of an intravenous catheter
  • Applying a nasogastric tube to relieve swelling and pain
  • Frequent blood tests
  • Blood transfusion in the worst cases


If the intestine is already perforated or if medical treatment is unsuccessful, surgery is required. In surgery, the most damaged sections of the intestine are removed with the goal of allowing the undamaged sections to operate regularly. An ostomy, or opening of the wall, is also made to let the bowels recover. Surgery in premature babies is stressful and comes with risk, but success rates are high, and babies typically recover after 6-8 weeks


Contact a Toxic Baby Formula NEC Injury Lawyer

Get a consultation with us if your child has contracted necrotizing enterocolitis after being administered contaminated baby formula. You may be entitled to financial compensation in a product liability or medical malpractice lawsuit.


Who is Liable For My Child’s Injuries?

In a toxic baby formula NEC lawsuit, two parties hold responsibly: the manufacturers who are aware of the risks of the formulas, and the practitioners who may fail to mention the inherent dangers of feeding premature babies bovine-based formulas. 

Negligence and insufficient warning of the possibility of necrotizing enterocolitis in toxic baby formulas are grounds for a product liability lawsuit against baby formula manufacturers. You may have a claim against them if your baby developed NEC after being fed their formula.

Medical malpractice lawsuits may occur when someone served by a healthcare provider suffer harm as a result of the provider’s negligence or incompetence. This may apply to the healthcare providers who feed premature infants toxic baby formula without outlining the potential risks to your child. This negligence may allow you to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Refer to our medical malpractice lawsuit information page to learn more.  

Filing a Toxic Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit

You may be eligible for a toxic baby formula NEC lawsuit if you meet the criteria above and have had a child who was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis after being administered bovine-based formula. Be sure to learn about the civil litigation process and file within your state’s statute of limitations

This is a daunting situation to be in, so we’re here to help each step of the way. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no-obligation case consultation. 


Hire an Baby Formula NEC Injury Lawyer

Hiring the right personal injury lawyer in your corner is essential in ensuring that you build the strongest case possible. A baby formula NEC injury lawyer will help assess and build your case, litigate your lawsuit, and get rightful compensation for your child’s injuries.


Gathering Evidence

You must compile adequate evidence supporting your personal injury case. Strong evidence can greatly increase your chances of reaching a solid settlement. Possible evidence you might gather can include:

  • Photos and videos
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records of the administered formula and of the NEC affliction
  • Medical bills
  • Incident reports
  • Public records


Your attorney will also help in the process of gathering evidence to build your case.


Assess Damages

Your damages are the total amount the defendant is liable to compensate for injuries caused. A premature child that contracted NEC is an instance where assessing economic damages should be straightforward. The defendant may be liable to pay for:

  • medical bills
  • future medical costs
  • pain and suffering
  • lost wages (parent’s wages)
  • punitive damages
  • other damages


For a toxic baby formula lawsuit, types of damages you may look for are medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and future medical expenses. A good personal injury lawyer will also aid you through this step in the process of filing a lawsuit. To learn more about assessing damages, refer to our guide on personal injury damages.


TorHoerman Law, Toxic Baby Formula NEC Lawyers

If you believe act your child qualifies to participate in a toxic baby formula NEC lawsuit, contact TorHoerman Law to speak with an experienced attorney and receive a free, no-obligation, case consultation to discuss your legal options today.

You can also use our chatbot to receive a free, instant online case evaluation right now.

TorHoerman Law is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for those individuals injured at no fault of their own. We operate on a contingency fee basis to ensure to each of our clients that we are as dedicated as they are to getting the absolute best result for them.

Let us focus on fighting for you in court so that you can dedicate your full attention to what truly matters, the health of your child.


TorHoerman Law is your toxic baby formula NEC injury lawyer.



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