Trusting verified baby formula producers to provide quality products for your infant is a natural thing to do for most parents in America. However, recent reports concerning medical complications arising from various baby formulas have caused alarm based on the serious effects that infants have experienced. Subsequently, caregivers require remedies to help them support the affected infants as they recover from infections linked to poor-quality baby formula products. When pursuing legal action, you will need to work with a highly experienced product liability professional who understands the various processes and requirements to satisfy. At Consumer Alert Now, we dedicate ourselves to helping persons aggrieved by product defects to seek compensation for the harm caused throughout the country. Our team is well experienced in handling poor quality baby formula products to give you better chances of receiving a fair compensatory amount.
Purpose of Baby Formula Products
Upon having a baby, their nutritional needs differ from those of older children because their digestive systems are still developing. As a result, newborns and infants up to six months rely on their mothers' milk to receive nutrients. However, not all parents can provide the required nutrients due to different body conditions that prevent milk production. Alternatively, the parent may seek alternative feeding solutions based on personal preferences.
If so, baby formula milk is the next best option as it provides sufficient nutritional value for the growing baby. Hence, parents rely on baby formula manufacturers to produce safe products that do not jeopardize the child's health while also supporting their healthy development.
Therefore, any defects or contamination found in baby formula products can negatively affect the baby's health, as further discussed below.
FDA Findings on Baby Formula Products
Recent reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigations show that various baby formula products have been linked to severe medical complications. The reports also show that most conditions were directly linked to infants consuming baby formula than those surviving on breast milk.
As a result, an official warning has followed the findings, requiring caregivers to find alternative sources for their infants. This is because purchasing the identified baby formula products puts the child at risk of developing bacterial infections. In extreme cases, fatalities from consuming specific baby formula brands have been reported, making the products a health hazard.
Furthermore, the FDA requires baby formula manufacturers whose products have been identified as harmful to recall them from the market. At this stage, the order calls for the manufacturers to recall the products voluntarily, which is often a better option to help the companies save face. Nevertheless, since the products have already caused harm to different victims, recalls will be stricter and aggrieved persons can file lawsuits against the manufacturing company.
Specific Products Recalled From the Market
As a consumer, you want to identify the specific brands recalled from the market to help you and your loved ones avoid purchasing them and endangering your children's health. Based on the investigation reports made public, Abbott Nutrition is responsible for manufacturing products contaminated with bacteria.
Thus, the following range of products has been marked as harmful to your child's health:
If you or a loved one has recently purchased the products, you are advised to check the container's labels, codes, and exploration date information. Doing so will help you determine whether your product is among those identified to have harmful bacteria based on the closeness in manufacturing.
For reference, recalled baby formula products from Abbott Nutrition have codes starting with K8, Z2, or SH. The codes refer to the container used to distribute the baby formula, so you must be careful when checking for the details to ensure you understand the distinction.
Alternatively, you can check for the expiration date on your baby formula product. Recalled products have their expiration date as April 2022 or 4-1-2022 on the container. Any products reading a later date will also fall within the defective category, so you want to discard the baby formula products to avoid exposing your child to infections.
Lastly, each baby formula product is assigned a two-digit code for proper identification during processing and packaging. You can also use the code to help you establish whether your baby formula is fit for consumption by ensuring it falls outside the 22 - 37 range. Should your container display any numbers between this range, the baby formula used may have contained harmful bacteria.
Defects Causing Harm in the Baby Formula Products
Apart from identifying defective products, you also want to learn of the specific contaminants causing them to be defective. In this case, you should understand the components that result in bacterial infections in your child to help you determine the suitable steps to take afterward. The information is also helpful when seeking emergency medical attention, as the medical professionals attending to your child can figure out a starting point. The two main infections attacking infants are:
Cronobacter Sakazakii is a bacterial organism linked to causing severe abdominal infections upon entering the human body. It is characterized by its constantly evolving genus linked to pathogenic effects, based on its fast multiplication. Therefore, the results of the bacteria in the infant’s body are visible within a few days of ingesting the instant baby formula milk. Based on this, you want to learn the various effects of Cronobacter Sakazakii to help you identify any health conditions requiring medical attention.
Symptoms of Cronobacter Sakazakii Infections on Infants
Since young babies are unable to communicate thor discomfort after an infection builds, you can identify their poor health conditions by checking for:
Naturally, most babies cry when they are uncomfortable or in pain to alert the adult for their needed attention. While babies can cry several times a day with no real cause for alarm, you want to take additional measures when the crying is prolonged and occurs more frequently than usual.
The crying is a common indicator of continuous pain and discomfort as the bacteria spread in the abdomen upon ingesting contaminated baby formula. Since the caregiver may mistake the baby’s crying for hunger, they may give them more of the contaminated milk as a response. The result is extended pain and worsening infections that may require additional treatment to remedy.
If the bacterial infection goes untreated for a long time, it worsens and spreads to other body parts. The outcome is sepsis, a severe blood infection that may result in fatality if no emergency treatment is administered. Among the most dangerous characteristics of sepsis is that patients may be unable to find out the problem until it is too late.
Most sepsis cases affecting infants may cause unconsciousness, pain in their limbs, and hot or cold skin, among other symptoms. Thus, you want to constantly monitor the child and ensure they receive urgent treatment to prevent the possibility of fatality.
Apart from infant fatality, sepsis may also result in amputations where bacteria severely destroy the affected infant’s limb tissues. If the tissue cannot regenerate, amputations are recommended to ensure that the damage does not spread to the rest of the body. Although your child’s life is saved, they will face several challenges in navigating the world, which may be preventable by manufacturers releasing only quality products to the market.
Your body also engages in fever as a natural reaction against bacterial infections. Usually, the body raises its temperatures to reduce the bacteria’s chances of survival and multiplication. However, the increased temperatures may also harm other body components like cells requiring mild to moderate heat exposure.
Consequently, the body shivers simultaneously as the temperatures fluctuate, meaning that the child is in constant discomfort. The fever also triggers continuous sweating as the body regulates the heat. Upon noticing a sharp increase in body temperature, you want to contact a medical professional as soon as possible. Their input will be pivotal in determining your child's best first aid care.
Jaundice affects the liver, especially after bacterial infections compromise liver development. As a result, liver toxins may increase in the body and trigger the skin color pigmentation into a pale yellowish color.
Although Jaundice does not necessarily endanger your child’s life, it points to a more serious problem involving the liver. Subsequently, immediate screening should follow to ensure the child receives medication to control the spread of bacteria in the body. Afterward, the assigned medical professional can suggest useful remedies to help resolve the issue.
Poor Feeding Habits
Further, abdominal infections caused by Cronobacter sakazakii will affect the infant’s feeding habits, making them less receptive to the baby formula milk. This is because a direct correlation between milk ingesting and suffering from abdominal pain builds, making it hard to hold down the food.
Moreover, vomiting and diarrhea are common factors influencing poor feeding habits, especially if digestion is greatly affected by the infection. Thus, you want to monitor your child and ensure the symptoms are detected early enough to avoid severe outcomes of poor feeding habits.
Extremely Low Energy Levels
Prolonged poor feeding will also result in reduced energy levels in the child, slowing down their development significantly. The low energy levels are observable when the baby is engaged in simple playing activities or even when crying in some cases. Since the caregiver is conversant with the child’s healthy output, they should be equipped to detect any drop in energy and report it to a certified medical doctor.
Meningitis Causing Brain Development Problems
When the bacteria infection reaches the spinal cord and brainstem, the affected infant may also suffer from a severe condition called meningitis. Patients diagnosed with the problem require urgent medical intervention to promote brain preservation and ultimately reduce the chances of fatality.
In children, meningitis may present additional threats compared to adults because their immunity is still developing. Due to this, their bodies may be unable to fight off bacteria efficiently, meaning that they may succumb to the disease faster. Hence, contact your doctor immediately upon noticing any signs like an arching back, fever, continuous crying, or soft bulges on the head.
Alternatively, the instant baby formula fed to your child may have contained traces of Salmonella, another bacteria microorganism known to cause serious health effects to the victims. Since the bacteria are found in the environment, manufacturers may have missed it when undertaking the processing. Consequently, the baby formula may contain millions of bacteria, resulting in infection symptoms within hours to days of feeding on the instant baby formula milk.
Effects of Salmonella
Like Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella causes various health effects to children who consume contaminated instant formula. They include:
Fatality may occur due to untreated Salmonella infections that last for days to weeks. There are various causes of death, including severe bowel distraction, which causes reduced nutrient absorption for the baby. Consequently, their immunity levels will drop, giving way to the continued spread of bacteria in the body.
Although most symptoms are treatable when discovered on time, the bacterial infections may not resolve as expected. Therefore, while infant fatalities occur more rarely, they are still considered probable for infections caused by contaminated baby formula.
- Regular Abdominal Pain
- Severe Headaches
- High Fever
- Widespread Rashes on the Skin
Seeking Medical Attention for Your Infant
Upon discovering any symptoms discussed above, the first step to take is rushing your child to the hospital for a comprehensive examination. During the medical tests, the doctor will require your assistance by informing them what the child feeds on and how frequently they take instant baby formula milk.
Thanks to the details, the infection rate is detectable, enabling the doctor to diagnose and prescribe appropriate medication. Further, blood and stool tests will also require your involvement, as the infant will remain in the hospital for some time before all samples are taken.
Where possible, you can provide details on the exact brand of instant baby formula fed to your child so that doctors can determine whether any other ingredients may have aggravated the infections. For example, your child may be allergic to a preservative, meaning that their allergic reactions combined with bacterial infections cause a severe reaction. Therefore, remaining in hospital until you receive conclusive information is necessary.
How Your Product Liability Attorney Helps
Once your child is stabilized, you can then seek legal remedies for the harm they suffered by consulting a product liability attorney. Partnering with a lawyer is advisable, as they have vast experience handling mass tort lawsuits involving product liability. Hence, you can rely on them to receive useful tips to increase your chances of receiving a positive case outcome.
During your first meeting with the product liability lawyer, you want to provide as much information as possible to help in determining the manufacturer's fault. Your lawyer will help you disclose vital information by probing you into the specifics of your product. They may also inquire how long you fed your child the contaminated baby formula before discovering it was causing health complications.
After the attorney consolidates the details, they will then brief you on joining a mass tort lawsuit to ensure you understand the expectations to hold, as well as the requirements to fulfill.
Joining a Mass Tort Lawsuit
Typically, aggrieved parties seek compensation for the harm caused in civil cases as sole claimants, with the liable parties as to the respondents. A presiding judge will hear arguments from both sides and determine the verdict based on a balance of probabilities.
On the other hand, mass tort lawsuits combine all aggrieved parties who suffered under common liable parties seeking compensation without filing multiple cases. Courts encourage parties aggrieved after buying a defective product to sue under mass tort litigation because it saves time and strengthens claimants' credibility against the respondents.
The increased credibility from the claimants' side comes from consolidated evidential sources that all point blame to the respondents, meaning that their negligence is easier proven.
Although mass tort lawsuits often provide the security of receiving a positive outcome and subsequent compensation, you want to follow the court requirements guided by your attorney to ensure you are included in the consolidated claimants' filings.
Verification Certificate to Join the Mass Tort Lawsuit
Participants in a mass tort lawsuit must obtain a verification certificate that shows they have a good cause to join the suit. Courts make this requirement to ensure that they receive similar facts because mass tort lawsuits should not create avenues for disputed narratives on the claims.
Therefore, your attorney plays an important role in helping you present your facts and streamlining them with other affected parties to ensure you all fit well in the claimants' categories. Further, your attorney will present the facts and submissions to the relevant court officer to verify that all parties observe the requirements.
Once the verification process is complete, you will receive the mass tort lawsuit certificate that authorizes you to appear in court as a claimant. When you receive the document, you can request your lawyer to remain in contact with other claimants in your position to help develop your cases before the trial begins.
Sourcing Evidence for Your Case
Part of your case preparation requires you to source relevant evidence that can support your claims against the instant formula manufacturers, who stand as the defendants. The admissibility rules for evidence presented in court remain strict even in mass tort lawsuits, as the judge should make a fair decision based on verifiable facts.
Your product liability attorney will therefore guide you on the relevant sources of proof to depend on as they help you build your case. For example, you can present original copies of purchase receipts to prove that you bought the instant formula as a consumer. This is important, especially where you need to show your interest in the case.
Additionally, you can refer to medical reports, prescriptions, and receipts to show that your child suffered from significant medical harm after taking the contaminated baby formula. The doctor's reports can also prove that the child was in perfect health before consuming the instant formula milk, meaning that all subsequent health problems are linked to the product.
More evidentiary sources will be available to you, depending on how you approach the case and the inputs made by your attorney.
Claims to Make After Your Child Consumes Contaminated Instant Formula
Since your child is a minor, you will need to act on their behalf and seek compensation for the outcomes presented after consuming contaminated milk. Thus, you need to consolidate the claims you intend to make on their behalf to ensure you recover and hold their compensation in trust and for your recovery. Some claims to present will have you seeking compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Wrongful Death
Contact a Product Liability Professional Near Me
When your child suffers from severe medical conditions after consuming baby formula products from Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare, you want to pursue legal action as soon as possible against the manufacturing company. Doing so enables you to receive rightful compensation for the harm caused. Subsequently, you can help your child make a full recovery and lead a normal and healthy life beyond the initial complications. Working with an experienced legal expert with experience in product liability is essential. Their input can be pivotal in your case outcome, especially because you will join a mass tort lawsuit. With your attorney's support, you will have a smoother time navigating the legal processes until the case conclusion. At Consumer Alert Now, we have worked with hundreds of parties seeking remedies for defective baby formula products. We are focused on giving clients throughout the country a smooth experience when seeking justice for the harm caused to their children. For more information on pursuing legal action for defective baby Formula products, contact us today at 800-511-0747.