All parents want their children to grow healthy and strong enough to live well. As a result, most parents and guardians rely on different baby food brands that have established a trustworthy name in the market to feed their children. While some of the popular baby food brands have been useful in enabling proper nutrition for infants across the country, several cases related to toxic elements in the food have emerged. Over recent years, parents have filed complaints concerning specific baby food brands that caused severe effects for their children after consumption.
Doubtless, dealing with the possibility that your child may face several challenges when growing up can be devastating. The situation is worse when you understand that defective product manufacturing’s adverse effects exposed your children to toxic elements. You may decide to join a mass tort lawsuit and seek legal redress for the harm caused to your child. With the help of Consumer Alert Now, you have access to some of the best legal experts in product defect laws. Through the information we provide, you can determine the best channel to use when seeking compensation through the mass tort lawsuit system.
Problems Arising From Poor Baby Food Manufacturing
While baby food is a healthy and convenient alternative for most parents taking care of infants, several problems related to the products have occurred. A growing number of cases from concerned parents have linked the sale of specific baby food brands to brain development changes in children who consumed the food.
Although some claims may not be directly related to baby food consumption, most cases revealed that the affected children suffered brain development problems from traces of toxic metals.
This means that the baby food contained an extremely high level of harmful metals that can significantly alter consumers’ health. Sometimes, the interference with healthy brain development may continue for years, resulting in permanent conditions for the child.
The four main elements discovered in the baby food products are:
It is important to note that these metals occur naturally in the soil, so most foods grown in fields will inevitably contain some traces. Nevertheless, the food manufacturing company should ensure that the metals’ presence is at a minimum level. Doing this will reduce the risk of adverse effects for consumers.
Moreover, the companies should source their raw products from trusted suppliers who avoid pesticides and other chemicals when growing the produce. By verifying that the products used in baby food production were grown in reasonable conditions, the risk of having high traces of the harmful metals is eradicated.
However, some identified companies have engaged in substandard baby food production, based on the numerous cases filed against them. They may compromise on the quality of the final product to cut costs and increase profit margins. Since the malpractice is prevalent, most aggrieved parents present similar claims concerning a change of physical and mental attributes in their children’s growth.
As a result, several mass tort lawsuits were filed against the baby food companies as parents seek redress for the harmful effects caused by contaminated baby food. The basis for compensatory claims includes damages for children developing autism, ADHD, and other conditions affecting the neurological system.
Companies Listed for Producing Substandard Baby Food Products
When multiple complaints arise from defects in a specific product niche, the relevant bodies regulating the quality of goods should investigate the issue. This way, the provided reports will help consumers learn of the brands associated with the defects and avoid them. The brands identified to provide harmful baby food are:
- Sprout Foods
- Parent’s Choice from Walmart
- Plum Organics from Campbell Soup Company
- Earth’s Best Organic from Hain Celestial Group
- HappyBABY from nurture
Consumers who chose Gerber as their trusted baby food brand came forward to file a mass tort lawsuit concerning the presence of toxic metals in their food. So far, the Gerber lawsuit has attracted over 40 lawsuits consolidated against the manufacturing company.
The claimants suing Gerber have also included previous legal liabilities incurred by the company after breaking consumer protection regulations in several states. For example, products manufactured and distributed in Texas, Arizona, Connecticut, and Colorado were below the expected standard. This was brought about by the company’s focus on cutting costs, leading to improper enrichment at the consumer’s expense.
A majority of complaints have also specifically linked Beech-nut, Gerber, Earth’s Best Organics, and HappyBABY to early signs of Autism and ADHD among young children. Most cases involve a gradual development of the child’s brain development problems, as parents compare their behavior before and after consuming the foods.
The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) is aware of the ongoing complaints linked to these baby food brands and has released additional guidelines to be observed during production. For example, the companies must undertake tests for all products before manufacturing the final product and after.
If companies observe these guidelines, they will ascertain that the level of contaminants, including metals, is at the minimum percentage. Follow-ups on the listed companies’ production standards are also underway to ensure that the harmful metals are checked.
Types of Products Laced With Toxic Metals
Parents choose different baby foods to serve varying purposes, depending on their child’s development stage. For example, if he/she is teething, you may select different types of snack puffs to help in the process with less discomfort. For others, baby food is a complete substitute for most meals so that the baby will consume many products over time.
The prevalence of using baby food products helps to learn about the highlighted types of foods laced with the highest percentage of toxic metals. Normally, earth-grown foods like rice contain a significant amount of Arsenic. The high levels occur because the rice is often grown in specific soil types or locations reported to have high Arsenic traces.
Subsequently, most of the listed products will have rice as a key ingredient, especially if it was used as a fusing ingredient for the snacks. Moreover, since most of the identified products are snack puffs, the rice used in manufacturing is higher for the proper combination of additional components. The snacks include:
- Sweet potato and carrot puffs
- Apple and Broccoli puffs
- Purple carrot and blueberry puffs
- Banana and pumpkin puffs
- Apple rice puffs
- Kale and spinach puffs
- Blueberry and beet rice cakes
- Strawberry and beet puffs
If your child has consumed any of the snack puffs for a significant period, we recommend having he/she examined by a medical professional for any signs of Autism or ADHD. While not all children will develop these conditions from consuming the baby food, confirming their effects on your child is helpful. Early detection of any medical problems will help you access treatment early and protect your child from severe complications in later stages of growth.
Effects of the Harmful Metals in Baby Food
As mentioned, the heavy metals detected in baby food may affect your child’s brain development, exposing him/her to several conditions. Usually, the metals may disrupt different neurological pathways in the brain, leading to various conditions.
Despite this, the severity of effects on your child varies, so relying on other people’s experiences may not be effective. Instead, we advise you to consult a neurologist or any other medical doctor if you notice your child exhibiting any of the discussed signs below.
The condition may develop from several causes, including genetic predisposition. However, environmental changes may also cause genetic mutations, leading to the condition as well. Therefore, classifying harmful baby food as an environmental factor may accurately describe the cause of Autism in your child.
Usually, children living with Autism have access to the same opportunities as others, including attending school and participating in various events. However, they may exhibit several difficulties in social settings and in general interactions by lack of expressing emotions. Nevertheless, the child should receive the love and support required to help him/her live comfortably. Common signs of autism in infants and young children include:
- The child is unable to say any word by the age of one year and three months or double-worded phrases by the age of two years.
- Lack of appropriate reactions to other people’s expressions of emotion like smiling
- Low interest in initiating a conversation.
- Hyper Focusing on one activity for a long period.
- The child avoids making eye contact or maintains it for only a short period if initiated by someone else.
- Challenges in changing their routines or moving from one routine activity to another.
- Using unique angles to look at an object or to examine it.
- Lack of empathy towards others’ reactions. For example, the child may remain rigid after causing another child to cry.
- Having a harder time making friends, if the child is old enough to interact in social settings.
- Low instances of the child presenting objects for the parent to react to, including toys, drawings, or handcrafted items.
- Inadequate expression when the child experiences pain or fear.
- The child is not interested in observing what the parent is pointing at.
- Repeating words said to him/her without a complete understanding of their meaning.
- Challenges in determining what the parent may be feeling through observation.
Your claim is substantiated if medical records reveal that no parent carries the gene, nor was it present at the baby’s birth. Through this method of presenting information, you will have a basis for seeking compensation from the responsible manufacturing company.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is another common effect arising from the consumption of contaminated baby food. Like Autism, ADHD affects the child’s mental and neurological functions. However, the condition brings about difficulties in remaining attentive in different settings, including learning new things or interacting with people.
Typically, children living with ADHD are bold and do not struggle to initiate new interactions. However, hyperactivity may cause several challenges in their daily lives, primarily when interacting with people who do not understand the condition. Common signs of ADHD in young children include:
- Constant fidgeting and squirming, especially when required to stay in one position
- Challenges in paying attention for long
- Difficulties in undertaking tasks like reading calmly
- Having the urge to move from one activity to another after a short engagement with each task
- Multiple cases of impulsive actions
- Difficulties in controlling emotions and words
- Having a hard time processing information or instructions
- Fearlessness in undertaking various activities
- Harboring excess energy when undertaking day to day activities
Since infants and younger children may not directly exhibit these symptoms, some parents may mistake them for general child-like behavior. However, the signs often superseded regular tendencies and are often recurrent.
Therefore, most cases require the parent to pay close attention to the child and determine whether their behavior is unique to them, warranting a medical evaluation.
Although the possibility of recurring signs of ADHD, parents and guardians are encouraged to accommodate their children’s needs. Many children diagnosed with ADHD have a brilliant and creative mind that can thrive if well supported.
Slow Reaction Time
Slow reaction time could exhibit severe brain degeneration, as the child’s reflexes are hindered. The condition affects the child by reducing his/her cognitive ability. Consequently, he/she takes longer to react to conversations or actions directed towards them.
However, this condition varies slightly from Autism because the child cannot react on time, compared to Autism, where he/she may choose not to respond. Although having a slower reaction time is not always severe, it still poses significant risks to the child’s wellbeing.
For example, he/she may be unable to avoid impending harm without the help of adult supervision. On top of this, the child may have a harder time keeping up with his/her environment and people surrounding different settings. Despite this, the condition is manageable with the help of a professional.
Lastly, your child may develop memory defects from the disruption in normal neurotransmission in the brain. Sometimes, the memories may still be present but hard to retrieve, especially if they are also dealing with ADHD. This is because the inability to focus energy or attention on single tasks makes it harder for the brain to learn and retain new memories.
In other cases, the child may still remember events and names associated with different items but uses them interchangeably. The memory defects affect the child’s ability to recognize and correctly assign what he/she previously learned. Due to this, the school setting may be quite challenging for the child, especially during tests.
Despite this, the memory defects are manageable with the help of a medical professional. For example, you may encourage the child to learn new methods of memory retention with the doctor giving instructions. With consistent treatment, the child will eventually become independent and capable of retaining memories.
Joining a Mass Tort Lawsuit
The process of joining a mass tort lawsuit involves fulfilling several requirements as stipulated in the different laws governing civil cases. Upon establishing that your child has suffered serious developmental harm from the toxic metals found in baby food, we recommend consulting a legal expert.
In the first meeting, he/she will ask you to elaborate on the exact case facts stemming from the consumption of contaminated baby food. Therefore, we recommend preparing a clear narrative that describes all the experiences your child has faced since you started feeding him/her the baby food. It also helps to mention important timelines, including when you first noticed unique developmental changes in your child’s behavior.
Secondly, the product liability expert will ask you to provide any medical documents and records obtained from consulting doctors. Naturally, most parents will opt to seek professional advice concerning their child’s symptoms, leading to multiple doctors’ visits, tests, and counseling programs.
Hence, consolidating all these documents will be important, as they serve as an evidential source pending the onset of the mass tort hearing. Moreover, having the documents will validate your claims and help you secure a slot in the lawsuit against the liable companies.
On top of this, doctor's reports and certified opinions concerning your child’s conditions and any chances of improvement over the years are acceptable. The rationale for presenting these details to your legal team is to ensure that your compensatory claims are justified. For example, if you want to include compensation for future medical expenses, you will need to prove that your child will require constant medical attention.
Once the legal experts have collected all the necessary details, they will begin applying for inclusion in the mass tort lawsuit. Usually, the legal officers responsible for confirming the applicant’s eligibility as parties to the suit use a specific checklist for the task. Hence, you want to ensure that you satisfy all the requirements for the best chance at seeking compensation.
Firstly, your attorney must prove that your damages and claims are similar to other aggrieved parties for properly consolidating issues. Thus, interacting with other parties making similar claims against the baby food companies is advisable. In doing so, you confirm the similarity of subject matter in the cases.
After asserting that your claims qualify as a considerable mass tort subject matter, your attorney should obtain the official certification allowing you to join the suit. The document will be useful when parties have to appear in court and present their grievances through their lawyers.
Apart from fulfilling the technical requirements, your lawyer must also ensure that he/she has sufficient evidence for your case. You should note that the standard of proof against the baby food companies is on a balance of probabilities. Due to this, having high-quality evidentiary sources will strengthen your case as joint claimants in the lawsuit.
After the presiding judge or appointed panel hears submissions from both parties, they will issue a verdict. The final decision is highly dependent on the strength of arguments from each party and the quality of evidence presented.
Typically, the aggrieved parties have a better chance of securing a positive case outcome, provided the effects of the defective product are widespread. These effects of consuming defective baby food should also be well demonstrated before securing a favorable outcome.
After a successful case presentation, the compensation issued should be sufficient to cater to medical expenses and other important care-based services for your child. For example, if he/she has severe Autism, you may consider enrolling him/her in a special school program to provide a comfortable learning environment.
The medical expenses incurred from multiple appointments with a psychologist can also accumulate into substantial amounts over the years. As a result, the liable party should provide compensation to cater to all medical needs accordingly.
If the mass tort lawsuit succeeds, the presiding panel of judges will assess the different monetary claims presented by aggrieved parties and settle on reasonable amounts. By the end of the entire legal process, you will have access to a fair case outcome for your child's wellbeing.
Contact a Product Liability Expert Near Me
Nothing is more stressful than learning about your child’s developmental problems caused by the improper manufacturing of baby food. Ideally, these products should uphold high standards during the processing and packaging stage to ensure that the young consumers receive the best health benefits in nutrition. Therefore, seeking legal redress after noticing significant health changes in your child from consuming the baby food is crucial. With the help of a qualified expert and lawyer, you can learn about joining a mass tort lawsuit and joining other affected parties in suing the liable companies.
If your lawsuit is successful, you will receive adequate monetary compensation to help you support the affected infant. This way, you can support him/her in dealing with the challenges that developed from toxins in the baby food. By partnering with Consumer Alert Now, you have access to reliable legal services for mass tort lawsuits available throughout the country. Our team is experienced and knowledgeable on the most appropriate options to remedy your case. If you or a loved one requires the guidance of a product liability expert, call us today at 800-511-0747.