A jury in Illinois has awarded $60 million to the parents of a premature baby who died after being fed Enfamil formula in the NICU.

The lawsuit was filed by Jasmine Watson, the first mother who has taken a baby formula manufacturer to trial for a deadly intestinal side effect of infant formula, known as Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC).

Watson gave birth to twin boys, Chance and Chase Dean, in March 2020. They were born prematurely at 31 weeks. One of the boys developed NEC and died shortly after the hospital fed him Enfamil.

In her lawsuit, she claims that the manufacturer did not warn parents and doctors that cow’s milk-based formula dramatically increases a baby’s risk of NEC, which is often deadly for premature infants.

Jurors heard from a dozen neonatologists, and all of them agreed that cow’s milk-based formula increases the risk of NEC.

After a 4-week trial, the jury spent less than 2 hours deliberating before awarding her $60 million, which was $25 million more than Watson had originally asked for.

Hundreds of other parents have filed similar lawsuits against baby formula manufacturers, citing studies dating back to the 1990s showing that cow’s milk-based formula has a significantly higher risk of causing NEC in a premature infant compared to human breastmilk.

The lawsuits accuse manufacturers of downplaying the risk of NEC and even advertising their products specifically for premature infants.

Baby formula lawyers continue to file new lawsuits nationwide for families of infants who were diagnosed with NEC after being fed formula. The size of this litigation is expected to continue to grow.

Instead of a class action, over 400 baby formula lawsuits for NEC have been centralized into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) under U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois.

Jury Awards $60 Million to Parents in 1st Baby Formula NEC Trial

Las Vegas, USA – January 2, 2015: Enfamil Baby Formula isolated on a white background.Enfamil (a play on words of ‘infant meal’) is a brand of infant formula

Source: Baby formula manufacturer ordered to pay $60M to parents after they were found liable for putting preemies at increased deadly disease risk

Posted by Daily Hornet

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