Skip to content

Virginia Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Lawsuits Lawyers

Nurse gives premature baby his first bottle of milk.

Premature or underweight babies need specialized care and nutrition to thrive. Usually, a mother’s breastmilk provides all the nourishment that infants need. But because premature babies need extra calories and nutrients, doctors and hospitals may supplement their diets with a cow’s milk-based baby formula. Sadly, this decision can prove catastrophic. Some babies develop a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) from cow’s milk formulas.

If your newborn received Similac, Enfamil, or another bovine milk baby formula in the hospital and later developed NEC, your family deserves justice and financial compensation for your financial and personal losses. Contact the Virginia NEC lawsuit attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. and Associates for a free consultation.

Premature Babies and Nutrition

Preterm babies often need a carefully tailored nutrition plan to grow. Baby formula can provide the boost newborns need to get essential nutrients, but doctors and nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) must take special care to identify feeding problems. Premature or low-birth-weight babies have immature digestive systems and are more likely to experience gastrointestinal issues.

While baby formula can bring a preterm infant up to a healthy weight, there are risks associated with cow’s milk-based formulas ― including a greater chance of developing NEC. And because premature babies have weak immune systems, they will have a hard time fighting off infections and other complications.

What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

NEC is a serious gastrointestinal illness that causes inflammation in the intestinal tract. The condition mainly affects infants that are born too early. Nine out of 10 babies with NEC are preemies, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

NEC can occur in both the small and large intestines. The intestinal inflammation can ultimately cause tissue damage and perforations (holes) in the intestinal wall. If a perforation occurs, bacteria can seep out of the large or small intestines into the abdomen, causing a potentially deadly infection. If tissue death occurs in any part of the intestines, the diseased tissue must be removed surgically.

Doctor checking up on new born baby.

How Dangerous Is NEC?

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a serious and sometimes life-threatening disease. According to an article published in the medical journal Advances in Nutrition, about five to 12 percent of underweight infants develop NEC. In around 20 to 40 percent of all cases, surgery is required to remove areas where tissue death has occurred. Anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of all cases of NEC are ultimately fatal.

Which Formulas Use Cow’s Milk as a Base?

Many baby formulas use cow’s milk as a base. The two most prominent are Similac and Enfamil. Similac is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, while Enfamil is manufactured by Mead Johnson & Company. Both manufacturers have been defendants in NEC litigation for failing to disclose the dangers of cow’s milk-based baby formula for preterm and low-birth-weight infants.

The specific products that have been subject to NEC lawsuits include:

  • Enfamil
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Similac
  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care

If your infant received any of the above cow’s milk products and later developed NEC, you could have grounds for a necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) lawsuit in Virginia. An experienced attorney can identify who should be held accountable and build a solid case for maximum compensation for you.

What Are the Symptoms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

The most common symptoms of NEC are:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Changing body temperature
  • Fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Respiratory changes
  • Bloody stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Inability to gain weight
  • Refusal to eat
  • Green or yellow vomit
  • Lethargy

If left untreated, NEC can cause serious complications, including peritonitis, sepsis, short bowel syndrome, and strictures in the intestines.

Who Is Liable if My Child Develops NEC from Drinking Cow Milk-Based Formulas?

In Virginia, necrotizing enterocolitis lawsuits could target the manufacturers of the baby formula as well as the medical professionals who administered it to the child.

Cow’s milk-based formulas carry no warning labels indicating that NEC is a potential complication for preterm babies. As a result, the public had no way of knowing that the formulas posed a threat to such vulnerable infants. Manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of the potential hazards of their products.

However, hospital NICUs and their staff should know to watch for signs of necrotizing enterocolitis in infants given cow’s milk-based baby formula. Neonatologists, surgeons, and nurses know the symptoms and should intervene quickly to prevent further damage.

If the responsible party is an employee of the hospital where your infant was treated, you could also hold the hospital liable under Virginia law. If the liable party was an independent contractor, as many physicians are, you could hold them directly responsible. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can advise you of all potential defendants in your case.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an NEC Lawyer?

At The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. and Associates, our NEC lawsuit attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t owe any upfront legal costs and we do not collect a legal fee unless we secure compensation for you.

Contact a Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Lawyer in Virginia Today

Did your newborn develop necrotizing enterocolitis after being fed a cow’s milk-based infant baby formula in Virginia? Contact The Law Offices of Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. and Associates today to discuss your case. As both a doctor and medical malpractice attorney, Dr. Wilson has a wealth of knowledge that gives our law firm a distinct advantage when negotiating for maximum compensation for our clients.

You and your child deserved better. Trust us to fight for the money and justice you deserve. Call or contact us today to speak with a proven NEC lawyer.

Get A Free Case Consultation

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our Location

1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Suite 500

Washington, D.C. 20036


Get Directions