NEC Lawsuit Against Similac and Enfamil Baby Formula

NEC formula lawsuits are being pursued by families of premature infants throughout the United States who were diagnosed with Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed Similac or Enfamil baby formula.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis settlements may be available since the makers of Similac and Enfamil placed their desire for profits before the safety and health of premature babies.

What Baby Formula Causes NEC?

The two types of baby formula most associated with NEC lawsuits are Similac and Enfamil. Despite years of research linking the use of cow milk-based formula to NEC for premature infants, these popular baby formula brands were promoted as safe. This included claims that suggested the baby formula may be a superior substitute for breast milk. However, important safety information was withheld from parents, hospitals, and medical providers about the risk that side effects of Similac or Enfamil may cause surgical NEC or wrongful death among preemies.

What Enfamil Formula Causes NEC?

Enfamil NEC lawsuits are being pursued against the Mead Johnson Nutrition Company by parents of infants diagnosed with NEC after being fed any of the following products:

  • Enfamil NeoPro EnfaCare Infant Formula
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal High Protein
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 30 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 20 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil 24 Cal Infant Formula
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier (acidified liquid and powder)

What Similac Formula Causes NEC?

Similac NEC lawsuits are being pursued against Abbott Laboratories by parents of infants diagnosed with NEC after receiving any of the following products:

  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier (which is actually a cow’s milk product)
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier

All NEC settlements are handled by our baby formula lawyers under a contingency fee agreement. This means that there are never any out-of-pocket costs to hire our law firm and we only receive attorney fees or expenses if a NEC lawsuit payout is obtained for your family. Our necrotizing enterocolitis attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have.

Learn More About Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawsuits

2024 NEC Formula Lawsuit Overview

Hundreds of families throughout the U.S. are pursuing NEC lawsuits over toxic baby formula sold by Similac and Enfamil, and necrotizing enterocolitis lawyers are continuing to investigate new NEC Survivor or wrongful death claims in 2024.

  • Cases are being reviewed for families of premature babies who developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed Similac, Enfamil, or other cow’s milk formula;
  • NEC lawsuits settlements are being pursued against the baby formula manufacturers for failing to warn parents, doctors, and hospitals about the baby formula side effects;
  • There have been no Enfamil recalls or Similac recalls issued due to the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), but lawsuits allege that false and misleading information about the risks for premature infants have been provided for years;
  • The manufacturers are currently refusing to offer fair and reasonable necrotizing enterocolitis settlements for families, but our lawyers expect this will change as the NEC litigation moves forward and bellwether trials are heard by juries.

2024 Enfamil and Similac NEC Lawsuit Updates

February 2024 Update: U.S. District Judge Judge Pallmeyer presiding over all infant formula necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) lawsuits pending in the federal court system issued a case order (PDF) on February 16, 2024, extending the deadline for parties to finish fact discovery for the first batch of cases being prepared for early trial dates. Parties will now have until July 19 to turn in their positions on the representativeness of the bellwether cases. The order further instructs parties will have until January 10, 2025, to submit summary judgment or Daubert motions. A final pretrial conference will be held on March 24, 2025.

October 2023 Update: Four lawsuits have been selected for a series of “bellwether” trials, designed to assess jury responses to testimony and evidence that will be presented repeatedly throughout the litigation. According to an order issued on October 25, 2023, two cases involve both Abbott and Mead Johnson as defendants, one specifically names Mead Johnson, and the other solely involves Abbott. Three of the cases involve infants who died.

April 2023 Update: Parties have proposed a series of discovery protocols to prepare a group of bellwether claims for early trial dates, conducting depositions and other case-specific discovery that will influence the specific claims that will be the first to go before a jury. While the outcome of these early trials will not have any binding impact on other families pursuing claims, the average amounts of the NEC lawsuit payouts are likely to influence future settlement negotiations to resolve claims.

December 2022 Update: The U.S. District Judge presiding over hundreds of Similac and Enfamil NEC lawsuits has ordered the parties of several early bellwether trials to conduct a series of settlement talks between October 15 and October 27, 2023. The pretrial order mandating NEC settlement talks was issued as 12 NEC lawsuits brought against the two infant formula manufacturers are being prepared for trial in early 2024.

October 2022 Update: Following the plaintiffs’ selection of four Similac and Enfamil cases for the bellwether trial program, the parties have submitted a list of 66 lawsuits that the Court will use to randomly select four additional claims for case-specific discovery. The makers of Enfamil and Similac will then have an opportunity to select four cases, making a total of 12 NEC bellwether lawsuits that are being prepared for early trial dates.

August 2022 Update: As part of the coordinated management of the NEC litigation, while a number of families continue to investigate and file claims for injuries suffered by premature infants who suffered problems from Similac and Enfamil, Judge Pallmeyer has established a “bellwether” trial program. A small group of 12 representative NEC baby formula lawsuits will be selected for case-specific discovery and eligible for a series of four trials that will be held to help determine how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence that will be repeated throughout the lawsuits.

April 2022 Update: Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed by families throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has established a federal NEC lawsuit MDL before Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings. Judge Pallmeyer is a fair and experienced jurist who was appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton in 1997, and became the first female Chief Judge of the federal court in Chicago, IL.

What Is NEC from Baby Formula?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious and often deadly gastrointestinal injury, which may occur after premature infants are fed Similac or Enfamil baby formula in the NICU or hospital.

Why Do Babies Develop NEC?

A baby develops NEC when harmful bacteria breaches the walls of the intestines, causing portions of the intestines to become inflamed or die. If left untreated, NEC can cause intestinal tissue to die, resulting in perforations in the intestines that allow bacteria to leak into the abdomen or infiltrate the bloodstream.

NEC often progresses very rapidly from mild feeding problems to:

  • Sepsis infections that may be life-threatening;
  • Narrowing of the intestines;
  • Short bowel syndrome;
  • Developmental delays;
  • Failure to thrive.

How Do You Treat NEC in Infants?

In many cases, a preemie baby NEC diagnosis results in the need for emergency surgery to remove portions of the intestines or repair holes in the intestines through an ostomy procedure. Surgical NEC can leave a baby with life-long injuries and disabilities. However, unfortunately, about 30% of preemie NEC cases result in death.

Does Toxic Baby Formula Cause NEC?

Yes, toxic baby formula can cause NEC. Studies have found that cow’s milk-based formula like Enfamil and Similac may greatly increase the risk that preemie infants will develop NEC, potentially resulting in wrongful death, surgical NEC, or long-term health problems for babies who survive.

How is NEC Caused by Baby Formula like Similac or Enfamil?

Similac and Enfamil products contain cow’s milk that has been hydrolyzed, or broken down, to remove certain proteins known to cause allergic reactions. However, when given to premature or low birth weight babies, Similac or Enfamil may cause NEC at much greater rates than is associated with babies fed breast milk, donor milk, or breast milk-based formula.

For years, studies have established a link between baby formula and NEC among premature babies. However, Similac and Enfamil failed to include NEC warnings or information for hospitals and parents about the risk associated with their product.

How Much Does Formula Increase the Risk of NEC?

As early as 1990, a NEC study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that NEC from baby formula may be 6 to 10 times more likely among babies fed cow’s milk products like Similac or Enfamil, compared to breast milk. For preemie babies born at more than 30 weeks gestation, the NEC risk was 20 times more common with cow’s milk formula products.

Premature babies may be 20x more likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) when fed with Similac or Enfamil baby formula

In another study comparing premature babies fed exclusively breast milk vs formula, researchers found that only 3% of babies fed breast milk suffered NEC, compared to 21% of preemie infants diagnosed with NEC on formula made from cow’s milk.

Similac and Enfamil Breast Milk Fortifiers are also often used in the hospital or NICU, which are actually cow’s milk products. However, research has found that fortification of breast milk with cow’s milk products may result in a 4.2 times greater risk of NEC, and a 5.1 times greater risk of surgical NEC or death, when compared to fortification with a breast milk product.

As a result of the risk that Enfamil or Similac cause NEC, a growing number of health experts now warn that all premature infants should be fed either their mother’s breast milk or pasteurized human donor milk, including The American Academy of Pediatric, the U.S. Surgeon General and other organizations.

In the July 2022 issue of the medical journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued an updated policy statement, calling for hospitals and the government to promote breastfeeding as the primary form of nutrition for newborns, stating;

“There is no need to introduce infant formula or other sources of nutrition for most infants,”

The updated policy statement was accompanied by a supporting technical report which indicates “Mother’s milk for very low birth weight infants in the NICU provides short- and long-term health benefits, including reduction of necrotizing enterocolitis, late-onset sepsis, chronic lung disease, and retinopathy of prematurity in addition to improved neurodevelopment.”

Safer alternatives to Similac and Enfamil’s cow’s milk formula have been available for years, which may have helped preemies gain weight and avoided a NEC diagnosis in the NICU or hospital. This may have included the use of the mother’s own breast milk or widely available pasteurized donor breast milk. There are also breast-milk formulas and fortifiers that are available, safe, and effective.

What Allegations Are Raised in a NEC Class Action Lawsuit?

The makers of Similac® and Enfamil® had a duty to properly research their baby formula and disclose the potential NEC risk for premature infants so that parents and doctors could make informed decisions about what to feed these fragile and developing babies. Allegations raised in a NEC formula lawsuit or class action claim indicate:

  • Cow’s milk-based Enfamil and Similac baby formula greatly increases the risk preemie infants will develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC);
  • Similac and Enfamil formula warnings are overly broad and fail to adequately disclose the serious risk of surgical NEC or death for premature babies;
  • Billions of dollars in marketing targeted use of Enfamil and Similac for premature infants still in the hospital, which had the effect of discouraging mothers from breastfeeding their baby;
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier and Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier products were introduced, which misleadingly suggested the products were derived from breast milk when they were in fact cow’s milk products;
  • Despite known NEC risk from baby formula, Enfamil and Similac were sold to unsuspecting parents and hospitals for years, generating huge profits at the expense of families.


Are there any costs to have a NEC lawyer review my case?

There are absolutely no out-of-pocket costs to review your case or hire our necrotizing enterocolitis attorneys. Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is a nationally known personal injury law firm that is focused exclusively on representing individuals, we do not represent corporations or insurance companies. Over the course of more than 40 years, clients of our law firm have collected more than $1 billion in compensation in cases involving product liability, medical malpractice, automobile accidents and other personal injury lawsuits.

Potential Enfamil and Similac NEC lawsuit claims are evaluated for individuals throughout the United States, and all cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. Through the use of contingency attorney fees, individuals have access to the experience and resources of our national law firm for their baby formula necrotizing enterocolitis settlement — regardless of their individual financial resources.

You pay nothing up front to hire our baby formula lawyers, and we only receive an attorney fee or expenses after your family receives a NEC lawsuit payout!

When will I find out if my child is eligible for the NEC lawsuit?

After requesting a free case evaluation, our baby formula lawyers are often able to determine whether we can move forward with your necrotizing enterocolitis lawsuit following a short initial consultation. However, in some circumstances, it is necessary that additional details be obtained or reviewed before we can confirm that a case is eligible.

What are the steps in a baby formula lawsuit evaluation?


Complete Our Case Evaluation Request Form. Provide contact information and some details about your baby’s Similac or Enfamil formula NEC lawsuit.


Get Contacted by Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. You will be contacted by our baby formula law firm to help determine if financial compensation may be available for you and your family.


You Decide If You Want to Move Forward. If our lawyers determine that we can help with your NEC case, then you decide whether to move forward and hire us to pursue compensation.

CONTACT OUR BABY FORMULA LAWYERS Request a Free, No Obligation Case Review

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After speaking with our NEC class action lawsuit attorneys to review what options may be available, it remains your decision whether to form an attorney-client relationship and pursue a lawsuit over NEC caused by toxic baby formula in the hospital or NICU.

As part of your Similac or Enfamil lawsuit evaluation, we will review the facts and circumstances surrounding your baby’s use of these cow’s milk formula products, and any resulting NEC diagnosis, complications, injuries, developmental delays, or other side effects your baby has suffered, to help determine whether you may have a successful case.

If you decide to move forward with the full investigation of your claim, a medical authorization must be signed so that we can obtain records confirming whether the NEC diagnosis was caused by infant formula use.

Throughout the process, you will have an opportunity to speak with our NEC lawyers to review any and all questions or concerns you may have.

Baby Formula NEC Settlement Information

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) settlements may be available to provide important benefits for babies and families throughout the United States. Due to the failure to adequately warn about the potential danger of Similac or Enfamil causing NEC, settlements may provide the financial benefits necessary to cover:

  • Hospital bills and NEC treatments;
  • Life-long therapy, medical equipment, and services a child may need;
  • Daycare and aftercare services;
  • Support and counseling for you and your family;

Hundreds of families throughout the United States are now investigating a potential Similac formula lawsuit, Enfamil formula lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit to obtain the baby formula NEC settlement they deserve. However, the cases remain at the early stages of litigation.

While the manufacturers are not currently offering Enfamil settlements or Similac settlements, based on the strength of the evidence linking the baby formula and NEC among premature infants, our lawyers believe this will change as cases move through the court system.

How much may my family receive in a NEC lawsuit payout?

Since this litigation remains in the early stages, there have not yet been any NEC lawsuit payouts made by the manufacturers of Similac or Enfamil. However, our lawyers anticipate that the average NEC settlement amounts will be similar to the payouts received in cerebral palsy lawsuits or other birth injury claims, where families are left with the devastating consequences of losing a child, or the life-time of medical expenses associated with providing the necessary care a NEC survivor requires.

Ultimately, the amount of any NEC settlement paid through a baby formula lawsuit will be based on the amount of damages a jury may award if that case goes to trial. Therefore, the money received by each family for settling their baby’s necrotizing enterocolitis lawsuit will take into account the strength of the underlying evidence linking the diagnosis to Similac or Enfamil, as well as the consequences of the injury.

The same factors a jury would consider in determining the amount of a NEC lawsuit payout at trial will impact the money that a family may receive through a NEC injury or wrongful death settlement, including:

  • The extent and duration of the injury caused by Similac or Enfamil;
  • The side effects NEC had on the baby, as well as the overall physical and mental health or well-being of the family;
  • The pain and mental anguish suffered in the past and which will likely be suffered in the future as a result of NEC-related health problems;
  • The amount of any past or future medical expenses caused by Similac or Enfamil use

Following any future Enfamil or Similac NEC settlement negotiations, each individual client will have the option to decide whether to accept the offer and settle their baby formula case, or proceed through the court system.

How long will it take to settle my family’s Necrotizing Enterocolitis lawsuit?

At this time, there are no global or mass infant formula settlements being offered. Therefore, our lawyers can not accurately predict how long it will take before each individual case resolves.

Typically in mass tort litigation, it can take anywhere from three to five years before a manufacturer agrees to start settling cases. However, prior settlements are not an indication of what the outcome will be in NEC infant formula lawsuits.

As more families step forward to pursue a Similac NEC lawsuit or Enfamil NEC lawsuit, and courts start scheduling trial dates, the manufacturers will face increasing pressure to enter settlement negotiations. Otherwise, the infant formula makers may face substantial liability in hundreds of trials in courts nationwide in the coming years.

To help determine the settlement amount that you or a loved one may be eligible to receive, request a no-obligation Similac lawsuit or Enfamil lawsuit claim review.

Does Your Family Qualify For an NEC Formula Settlement?

The NEC lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. provide free consultations and case evaluations to help individuals review the legal options that are available to them. After contacting our office toll-free at 1-800-522-0102 or requesting a free case review online, the facts and circumstances surrounding your potential NEC lawsuit will be reviewed and evaluated by our lawyers.

If it is determined that you or a loved one may be eligible for financial compensation or a settlement, it is your decision whether to hire our law firm. All baby formula lawsuits are handled by our NEC lawyers under a contingency fee agreement, which means that there are never any fees or expenses paid unless we are successful in obtaining a settlement or other recovery in your case.

Start our two-minute survey to find out if you qualify for an infant formula lawsuit settlement.

No Fees or Expenses Unless a Recovery is Obtained.

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