Abbott and Mead Johnson Sued in Another NEC Case

A complaint was filed on Wednesday in the Northern District of Ohio by two plaintiffs against defendants Abbott Laboratories and related entities. The complaint alleges that the defendants were negligent in their marketing of their cow’s milk products, which they knew had the potential to cause health complications in premature infants yet failed to adapt their marketing strategies and labeling accordingly.

In 2002, the plaintiff gave birth to premature twins, the complaint said. The infant twins allegedly suffered injuries after being fed the defendant’s cow’s milk-based infant feeding products. After being fed the products, the infants both developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which is described in the complaint as a potentially “deadly intestinal disease characterized by inflammation and injury of the gut wall barrier that may advance to necrosis and perforation of the gut.”

The complaint explains that the infant’s diagnosis of NEC was “directly and proximately caused by defendant’s cow milk products.” Plaintiff Naomi Hagerman asserts that as a result of the NEC diagnosis and corresponding injuries, she has sustained financial and economic loss as well as emotional harm and distress.

The complaint notes that there has been a link established between premature infant health complications and cow’s milk products. Despite the defendant’s alleged knowledge that “their cow’s milk products are associated with and are significantly increasing NEC and death in premature infants, and are far more dangerous than most prescription drugs, defendants have done nothing to stop or lessen NEC or death.”

The plaintiff concludes the complaint by claiming that if she had been informed of the risks associated with the defendant’s products, she would not have allowed the product to be administered to her premature infant twins. Further, she alleges that the marketing and inadequate warnings contributed to the defendant’s misconduct surrounding the products.

The complaint cites strict liability (design defect), negligence, strict liability (failure to warn), negligent misrepresentation, loss of consortium, survival action, and wrongful death action. The plaintiffs are seeking punitive and compensatory damages, restitution and disgorgement of profits, reasonable attorneys’ fees, the costs of the suit, ascertainable economic damages, and any other relief deemed just by the Court.

The plaintiffs are represented by McDermott & Hickey, LLC.