Similac Lawsuit Filed After Newborn Suffered Fatal Case of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

Lawsuit against Similac alleges baby formula caused NEC and wrongful death days after premature newborn was fed cow's milk formula in NICU

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the makers of Similac, alleging that the baby formula caused necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious intestinal disease that resulted in the death of a premature infant.

The complaint (PDF) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on May 14, by Alicia Restad and Daniel Renteria-Hernandez, indicating that Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company, LLC are responsible for the loss of their newborn child, Daniel Renteria-Hernandez.

According to the lawsuit, baby Daniel was born on April 29, 2019 at Dignity Hospital in Merced, California. He was premature, with a birth weight of only two pounds and two ounces after only 31 weeks of pregnancy and was put in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Valley Children’s Hospital.

At only 16 days, Daniel died from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which the parents blame Similac fed to him during his short life.

Necrotizing enterocolitis is an intestinal disorder resulting in inflammation and necrosis of intestinal tissues. It is usually diagnosed in premature babies and can be life-threatening. Symptoms can include a bloated abdominal area, green-tinged vomiting and blood stools.

The lawsuit points out that NEC has been linked to formula being fed to preterm infants since at least 1990, at which point a study indicated feeding them formula exclusively increased the risk of the ailment by up to a factor of 10, when compared to those given breast milk alone. A number of similar studies have followed through the years, and in 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics warned that all premature infants should be fed human breast milk exclusively.

According to the lawsuit, the manufacturer fails to adequately warn about the link between Similac and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), with safety warnings only indicating that very low-birth-weight infants were susceptible to “gastrointestinal complications” when fed the formula.

“Science and research have advanced in recent years confirming the dangers of the defendant’s cow’s milk-based product in causing NEC and death in premature infants, yet the Defendant did nothing to change its product, packaging, guidelines, instructions and warnings,” the lawsuit states. “The warnings and instructions are overly broad and vague, and do not ever mention that the product significantly increases the risk of NEC and death, nor provide any detailed instructions or evidence on when and how to feed the infants and how to avoid NEC and death when feeding its products.”

Similac Formula NEC Lawsuits

Settlement benefits may be available through a lawsuit against Similac or Enfamil for failing to warn about the risk of NEC.

CONTACT A LAWYER

As recently as 2016, Abbott advertised some Similac formulas as being specifically for premature and low birth-weight infants, the lawsuit notes, despite the known dangers.

The family of Daniel Renteria-Hernandez is one of the first to file a product liability complaint against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson, leading the way for dozens of other families now preparing to pursue a Similac lawsuit or Enfamil lawsuit after their premature babies experienced problems from the cow’s milk formulas.

The baby formula NEC lawsuit presents claims for failure to warn, strict liability for defective product, negligence, negligent misrepresentation and breach of warranty, seeking compensatory damages of the loss of their son due to NEC caused by baby formula.

21 Comments

  • AnneJanuary 27, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    My twins were born at 32 weeks in 1997. My daughter weighed on 2 ponds 11 ounces. I had a traumatic birth and emergency surgery and had not produced breast milk yet prior to them feeding my twins formula. My daughter survived emergency surgery and a colostomy. She has had several abdominal surgeries including ostomy reversal and at age 24 she still suffers from periodic small bowel obstructions r[Show More]My twins were born at 32 weeks in 1997. My daughter weighed on 2 ponds 11 ounces. I had a traumatic birth and emergency surgery and had not produced breast milk yet prior to them feeding my twins formula. My daughter survived emergency surgery and a colostomy. She has had several abdominal surgeries including ostomy reversal and at age 24 she still suffers from periodic small bowel obstructions resulting in hospitalization and surgery. I am hoping she can be in this lawsuit!

  • MelissaJanuary 17, 2022 at 11:10 am

    My daughter was born prematurely in 2003 and had all kinds of problems with her being on formula. She would projectile vomit everything she ate right back up again. The doctor kept switching her formula and put her on Reglan for GERD and kept sending me home. I was scared to death so I kept taking her to the Dr and the ER. AT 3 MONTHS OF AGE MY DAUGHTER ONLY WEIGHED 6 MORE OZ THAN SHE DID WHEN SHE[Show More]My daughter was born prematurely in 2003 and had all kinds of problems with her being on formula. She would projectile vomit everything she ate right back up again. The doctor kept switching her formula and put her on Reglan for GERD and kept sending me home. I was scared to death so I kept taking her to the Dr and the ER. AT 3 MONTHS OF AGE MY DAUGHTER ONLY WEIGHED 6 MORE OZ THAN SHE DID WHEN SHE WAS BORN! She was born with birth weight of 6lb 1oz at 3 mos she weighed 6lb 7oz!! Despite me having her at the Dr or the ER an average of about 3 times per week the asshole pediatrician had the audacity to call DHS on me saying my daughter had inorganic failure to thrive! They even put my name on a child maltreatment registry and we had to hire an attorney to get that resolved! My daughter is now almost 19 years old and still has lots of problems. I should have sued over this a long time ago.

  • JOHNJanuary 8, 2022 at 11:56 am

    our son Donovan J. born 9-11-2005 at 1 pound 10 ounces at 24 weeks and was consider healthy with all organs working fine, my wife could not product beast milk at the time so the doctors suggested Enfamil formula, after a couple of weeks of using this formula he developed NEC, had emergency surgery but it was to late, he died 10-9-2005 from NEC. We were told that the formula was the best choice fo[Show More]our son Donovan J. born 9-11-2005 at 1 pound 10 ounces at 24 weeks and was consider healthy with all organs working fine, my wife could not product beast milk at the time so the doctors suggested Enfamil formula, after a couple of weeks of using this formula he developed NEC, had emergency surgery but it was to late, he died 10-9-2005 from NEC. We were told that the formula was the best choice for his development with out concern NEC complications. now we know that was a lie, I hope the doctors and hospitals did not know about this as well. it is hard as it is to visit our son's grave site and wonder if it was something we could have done, knowing all these years that we suspected the formula the whole time, but was told by the doctors and hospital staff that he was just to young and did not have a good chance to survive. now we have to visit his grave site knowing that if he did not take that poison he would be here today. I am writing this because my wife is blaming herself and could not do this, hopefully we can somehow develop a support group for all the families that's going through this horrible issue. I hope the responsible parties pay for this! although I would rather have a son who would be 16 now. We already have a law firm fighting for us, I just wanted to make this commit. thanks and god bless.

  • AudreyDecember 17, 2021 at 2:35 am

    Son born 2/22/2011 was premie. Hospital staff and doctors know what to look for if a baby is premie. He wasnt given a ankle monitor at birth and given Similac by a nurse between breast feeding. Everytime she gave him Similac from premade bottles his burpups we're not normal. I In formed the nurse and she said that was normal. Everytime he was fed from the bottle his temperature would drop and had [Show More]Son born 2/22/2011 was premie. Hospital staff and doctors know what to look for if a baby is premie. He wasnt given a ankle monitor at birth and given Similac by a nurse between breast feeding. Everytime she gave him Similac from premade bottles his burpups we're not normal. I In formed the nurse and she said that was normal. Everytime he was fed from the bottle his temperature would drop and had a hard time keeping temp. My milk never came with any of my pregnancies. Regardless of his symptoms me and my baby were released to go home. He had a ear appointment at the hospital where he was born on day 10 and a trainee was in the room with us and noticed that he's belly was bloated. She started asking questions and more questions and one of the nurses pull her out of the room and I think she sent her home because of the way she walked away. The head nurse came in said there was nothing to be alarmed about everything was normal just a little bit of gas and it would pass. She said I can find a doctor in the phone books if I wanted to get him looked at any further cuz there was nobody in the hospital that was qualified to look at him. But there was nothing to be alarmed about. I went home made a doctor's appointment which was 6 days out. For the next 5 days I was calling the hospital to the nurses department like we're supposed to when we have questions about newborns. And the nurses station with a plethora of symptoms and questions. They had an explanation for every symptom and said all these symptoms were normal and I was just being a paranoid parent. So I told myself I was just being a paranoid parent and it was all in my head for that 5 days I wouldn't put him down I just didn't want to. My baby's dad told me to go lay down and give the baby a break from being held so much so I laid down and put him in the car seat next to the bed so he'd be close to me and I hung down over the edge of the bed and looked down at him I didn't have time to close my eyes when he started puking green I immediately picked him up put him on my knees to get all the vomit out of his mouth he was gasping for air and I think at times he quit breathing. I didn't wait around for anybody to get ready to go. I put in the car seat and drove straight to the hospital scared the whole way he was going to quit breathing. I got into the hospital safely and lady at the front desk took him from me and brought him to the back where every doctor in the room was working on him everyone tried to get an IV in him poked him a hundred times and only one IV was successful. There I think they did x-rays come to stomach and put a little tube down his throat so he wouldn't choke on his own vomit. Then they got us in a helicopter and medevac us to a bigger facility where they put him in the NICU was given x-rays there in the x-rays the doctor said didn't show anything so he wanted to do an emergency surgery so he can take a look around and see what's going on. I waited for hours until one of the staff came back and told me he had died on the table twice but he was stable and let me go back and see him. He was covered in tape a tube in his mouth tape over his eyes he was cold and I felt like he was ripped out of my stomach. He died a few minutes later the machines went off and the staff performed PCR but was unsuccessful to revive him. The hardest thing I ever had to do was walk out of the hospital with an empty car seat. I brought the milk back to the hospital where I got it from and told them I think the formula killed my baby. They didn't look at the boxes or the formula. They just said that they had it all under control and I didn't have to worry about it they had it handled. They left the boxes on the floor even after I left they never looked at the boxes.

  • AnnaDecember 6, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    My Daughter diagnosed with NEC 2018 I’m reading comments an always someone with a judgmental comment I personally couldn’t provide my breast milk but I was told she was given human donor milk they never told me it was provided thru Similac don’t be so quick to judge all of our situations are different as our beliefs are different Good luck to you all an you are in my prayers

  • WannaNovember 26, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    My son was born Feb. 2, 1990 premie@ 32 wks weight 4lbs6oz. Passed Feb.7,1990 . Dr's at Children hospital Alabama said NEC, not sure how this could have happen.

  • StacyNovember 10, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    You can blame the formula for the gut issues. My question is why weren’t any of the mothers breastfeeding these babies. Babies intestines are not developed to handle cows milk. No secret. As far as the neurological issues some of the parents cited. I’m sure would otherwise be caused by the vaccinations they get right at birth. Wake up people. You want to complain about the toxicity of formula bu[Show More]You can blame the formula for the gut issues. My question is why weren’t any of the mothers breastfeeding these babies. Babies intestines are not developed to handle cows milk. No secret. As far as the neurological issues some of the parents cited. I’m sure would otherwise be caused by the vaccinations they get right at birth. Wake up people. You want to complain about the toxicity of formula but blindly inject these babies with poison from the shot. Mercury is a neurotoxin. Trust in the medical advisers will always maim, cripple and destroy health. Americans need to wake up to the cocktails of poison you are agreeing to give to your healthy or unhealthy babies. 8 vaccinations for the children have grown to 73 by the age of 18. The injuries begin with the Pitocin drip and the fentanyl laced epidural causing delayed speech called apraxia. Autism the big mystery starts with the first shot. Unless of course your in denial. Or maybe it’s something in the water?

  • SamanthaNovember 1, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    I know exactly what these parents suffered but if your child or children suffered from NEC like my son did and your child was born before 2000 You just have to suck it up because lawyers only care about cases for babies born then other Children born before this and suffered from NEC don't matter as I was just told this by a very bad law firm.

  • ChrisOctober 23, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Premature babies are much high risk of NEC than full term babies, regardless of feeding methods. Were other feeding methods considered, such as parenteral nutrition, breast milk from mother or donor? What are the alternatives if breast milk is not available and PN not indicated? The vast majority of children tolerate these formulas quite well.

  • IsabelOctober 21, 2021 at 11:40 am

    My beautiful princess damaris was a 25 weeker she was almost 2 pounds she was born 07/01/07 she was a active preemie kicking her leggs up I breast fed her for 5 and a half weeks and One morning I noticed I wasn’t producing anymore milk so the hospital told me they would have to put her on formula which was similac this was on augest 10.. 2007 And on augest 12th I went home to shower n change[Show More]My beautiful princess damaris was a 25 weeker she was almost 2 pounds she was born 07/01/07 she was a active preemie kicking her leggs up I breast fed her for 5 and a half weeks and One morning I noticed I wasn’t producing anymore milk so the hospital told me they would have to put her on formula which was similac this was on augest 10.. 2007 And on augest 12th I went home to shower n change they call me and tell me my daughter developed nec i rushed to the hospital they showed me a X-ray n all I saw was bubbles I said can y’all fix this they said no ain’t nothing she can do on augest 14th 2007 at 1:30am my daughter passes away in my arms first thing that came out my mouth was I want a autopsy done on my baby the doctor told me their is no need I said I want one done as soon as possible yall killed my daughter they never approved an autopsy they said I’m going crazy I’m not it’s states on the death certificate clearly Necrotizing enterocolitis I been back and forth in and out of law offices since my daughter passed away and no one wants to help me I been caused so much pain and suffering all these years I have dreams I can’t rest or live my life until the truth comes out and they take responsibility for wat they did to my child

  • LisaOctober 9, 2021 at 4:21 am

    In 1997 my twin sons were born at 27 weeks they were two pounds each. They were doing as well as expected until one day my youngest twin was diagnosed with NEC and had to have 60% of his large intestine removed. Thank god he is doing well but he has a very large scar from one side of abdomen to the other.

  • CrystalOctober 4, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    My daughter Chloe died from NEC in 2014 she was only 1 month old, she wasn’t pre mature. We always had a suspicion it had something to do with the formula they gave her in the NICU. She had 2 emergency surgeries removing infected intestines trying to survive the NEC but the infection spread too fast :(

  • TonyaSeptember 24, 2021 at 2:16 am

    My daughter was born at 25 weeks 5 days on September 10, 2006 and lived for 33 days until she died of NEC.

  • ShaylaSeptember 12, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    My daughter NaJayah had it and almost died back in 2005. I was 26wks 1 day pregnant with her when I had her. She started doing great then all of a sudden she stopped drinking her milk, wouldn't keep it down and then she had to be rushed into surgery at almost 2lbs she had 20% of her intestines removed. Scariest times of my life.

  • RitaSeptember 10, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    I have three children's born premature and I am experiencing difficult with my children feeding. They vomit during each feeding and it comes out through their nose each time they eat causing them to be in pain.

  • GerardSeptember 1, 2021 at 7:08 am

    I was curious and Googled Similac lawsuit just before purchasing another Similac, hoping there wasn't one out there to only find out, there is. I'm a father of 3 awesome sons and my eyes started to swell from reading this article because I wondered if my sons are suffering from symptoms of NEC. My 3rd born has been on Similac Pro-Total comfort since he was about 2-3 months old. He is now one and i[Show More]I was curious and Googled Similac lawsuit just before purchasing another Similac, hoping there wasn't one out there to only find out, there is. I'm a father of 3 awesome sons and my eyes started to swell from reading this article because I wondered if my sons are suffering from symptoms of NEC. My 3rd born has been on Similac Pro-Total comfort since he was about 2-3 months old. He is now one and it's abnormal for my son not to be constipated. His abdominal area is usually hard betweens stools. When he finally has a stool anywhere from 4 to 8 days from the previous, there is blood in his stool and he has a very hard / painful experience every-time. My first born had similar problems and we switched him from Similac Advanced, to Sensitive, to Pro-sensitive which slightly mitigated the issue. He stopped having the issue after he was old enough to stop the formula. I don't know if this is related but he now has a cyst on his brain and abnormal activity on one side of his brain. He also suffers from seizures. Now my second born who is now 3 has had the same exact issue as my one year old and I think he stopped having blood in his stools but I am not sure. He is also usually constipated and has the hardened abdominal area between stools. All the up to the point of having a stool he cries and complains about his stomach hurting and is always nervous to go to the bathroom (probably because of the fear of pain). When he does have a stool it does hurt him but abdominal pain leaves after he's finished. I'm not sure if all three of my sons are experiencing symptoms of this diagnosis but I need help so that all of my sons will be free of the pain they continually go through. I do not want my one year old to die nor my other sons to continually suffer. Is there a cure?

  • ShadyAugust 7, 2021 at 1:54 am

    My son was born in 2012 and was diagnosed with NEC at 2 days old. He spent months at Primary Children's Medical Center, thankfully he survived and is now 9 years old. But he is still having physical and mental struggles due to his diagnosis.

  • AshleyJuly 30, 2021 at 3:52 am

    My son was born in 2014 and was diagnosed with NEC after only a month of life and I fed similac! He almost died had it not been for Mary bridge children’s hospital!

  • StephanieJuly 1, 2021 at 8:30 am

    My twin girls were born premature in April 2007 and January 2008 my oldest twin died after multiple surgeries to attempt to combat her diagnoses of NEC.

  • JessicaMay 30, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    1997 my daughter had it and nearly died. She has cerebral palsy now and zero brain injury - it was caused from the NEC

  • NatashaMay 21, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    My first born died from this in 1998.

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