We’ve all heard of product recalls, especially in recent years. It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s a new product recall, defect, or lawsuit on the rise. Unfortunately, infant formula is not immune to this trend. Because of severe supply chain problems and several recalled formula products, the United States is currently enduring a formula shortage. The shortage is even more devastating for families who use hypoallergenic or medical specialty infant formula for their babies. If your family has been severely affected by the Similac recall, or if your baby suffered a bacterial infection from the consumption of Similac powder formulas manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan, you may have a case.
At Reich & Binstock, our attorneys understand that your baby’s health is priority number one. When infant formula manufacturers fail to ensure the safety of their products, your baby’s health could be at risk. If your child suffered from bacterial infections after consuming Similac powdered infant formulas, contact an attorney right away. You may qualify to participate in the Similac recall lawsuits. Reich & Binstock is actively taking cases involving contaminated formula, as well as formula recall lawsuits involving NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis). To schedule your free case evaluation, please call our Houston personal injury lawyers at 713-622-7271 today.
Similac Powder Formula Recall Lawsuit
In February of 2022, Abbott Laboratories announced a recall of all of its Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered infant formulas that were manufactured at their Sturgis, Michigan plant. Similac PM 60/40 has also been recalled due to the death of a baby who was exposed to this baby formula.
The defective product lawyers at Reich & Binstock are standing by to offer free case evaluations to those harmed by Abbott’s powdered baby formula products. If your baby consumed any Similac powdered infant formula products and then fell ill, you may have the basis for a Similac recall lawsuit. Keep in mind that, currently, no liquid formula products have been recalled.
September 2022 Similac Recall Update
The recent Similac recall lawsuits have now been consolidated into a class action lawsuit against Abbott Nutrition. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) agreed to consolidate all federal court lawsuits regarding the Sturgis, Michigan plant powdered formula contamination.
These lawsuits include both individual personal injury claims as well as class action consumer claims. Because the United States continues to suffer from a shortage of baby formula, these cases have captured national attention. While the nation already struggles with supplies of infant formulas, contamination at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility has contributed to the severe shortages.
Another reason why these lawsuits are so important is because of a whistleblower complaint filed by an employee of the Sturgis, Michigan plant. Additionally, this same formula plant has seen cronobacter contamination not two, not three, but five times in the past two years. Two of these times, the bacteria found its way into the infant formula.
How can Abbott Nutrition continue to defend its actions when there is such a history of terrible bacterial contamination? Large companies must be held accountable for their carelessness in order for parents and families to move forward after the pain and distress they have suffered.
Why Was Similac Recalled?
On February 17th, 2022, Abbott Nutrition recalled certain lots of Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered infant formula products. Another recall came shortly after, on February 28th. This time, the recalled product was one lot of Similac PM 60/40. The recall was prompted by the death of an infant from a Cronobacter sakazakii infection they contracted from the formula.
Cronobacter infections and contaminations are the main purposes for the recall of so many Abbott formulas. Cronobacter bacteria can result in life-threatening infections for infants who consume contaminated Similac. Parents of infants who use baby formula should check the full FDA recall list to see if their formula has been affected by the recall. Read our related blog about Enfamil infant formula alternatives to learn about safe replacements for recalled formulas.
It is imperative to stop feeding infants any potentially contaminated infant formula. Parents can either return the recalled formula to the store or return it directly to Abbott Nutrition. Those who cannot find the lot code on the formula container should still refrain from feeding it to their babies. If you received formula through the local WIC clinic (Women, Infants, and Children program), you can take the formula back to the store for an exchange or refund. WIC recipients should be able to find a replacement formula that is similar to what they used.
Parents who use medical specialty and metabolic formulas should follow the FDA’s guidelines and seek advice from their doctor.
Cronobacter Sakazakii Bacteria Recall
Cronobacter sakazakii infections can be identified by laboratory cultures, blood samples, or cerebrospinal fluid samples. The initial symptoms of these infections include symptoms such as the following.
- Poor feeding
- Low energy
- Excessive crying
- Yellow skin (jaundice)
- Urinary tract infections
- Blood infections (sepsis)
- Swelling of the lining of the brain or spinal cord (meningitis)
If you notice that your child has any of the above symptoms, contact their medical provider right away. It is possible that they have contracted a Cronobacter infection from contaminated Similac or other recalled formulas. If your doctor determines that there is a Cronobacter infection, we recommend seeking help from the attorneys at Reich & Binstock. We also recommend monitoring your baby for the symptoms of NEC.
What Similac Products Were Recalled?
Not every batch of Similac infant formula was included in the Similac recall. Before throwing out infant formula during a formula shortage, make sure that the product you have may actually have been contaminated. Below, we provide a comprehensive list of which powdered infant formula products have been affected by the recall.
- Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered infant formula products with the following identifiers.
- Lot code with the first two digits being 22 through 37.
- Lot code containing K8, SH, or Z2.
- Expiration date of April 2022 or later.
- Similac PM 60/40 with lot codes 27032K80 (on the can) or 27032K800 (on the case). This is currently the only form of specialty formula that has been recalled.
Remember that none of the recalled products are liquid infant formulas. Only powdered infant formula products have been recalled at this time.
What Powdered Infant Formula Products Have Been Recalled?
Aside from the powder formulas we listed above, other infant formula products have been recalled due to the possibility of cow’s milk-based formulas causing Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies. Premature infants are at a particularly high risk of developing severe complications or even dying from NEC. Below, we provide a list of all baby formula brands affected by the NEC formula recall.
- Similac Special Care (20, 24, 24 High Protein, 30)
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier (Concentrated Liquid, Powder, Hydrolyzed Protein – Concentrated Liquid)
- Similac NeoSure
- Similac Alimentum (Expert Care)
- Similar Liquid Protein Fortifier
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier (Acidified Liquid, Powder, Liquid High Protein, Liquid Standard Protein)
- Enfacare Powder
- Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
- Enfamil Premature (20 Cal, 24 Cal, 24 Cal/fl oz HP, 30 Cal)
- Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement
Is Similac Still Recalled in 2022?
All of the Similac formula variants we listed above are still involved in active FDA recalls. Enfamil and Similac formula brands are both very popular, so the recall has greatly affected the formula market. Parents have had to consult with their physicians in order to find an appropriate replacement for their children that meets their nutritional needs. With the ongoing formula shortage, however, this is an even greater concern for parents of newborns and premature infants.
Abbott’s voluntary recall affects countless parents and babies during an already difficult time. However, the recall was a necessary choice after four babies contracted a bacterial infection from the powdered formula. All four of those babies were hospitalized, and two of them died. Parents of babies affected by this contamination deserve justice for the pain and suffering that both they and their children endured. Similac recall lawsuits aim to seek monetary compensation for the losses of parents and families of babies affected by the contamination.
Because of the recall, many parents have begun to seek alternatives to Similac for their babies’ nutrition. The first step in finding a safe, viable alternative is to seek advice from your baby’s medical provider. They will help you compare alternatives to all formulas available in your area that are suitable for your baby. Another important thing to remember is that certain “alternatives” that people recommend online are not safe for babies.
Below, we list the alternatives that you should avoid when seeking formula for your infant.
- Homemade infant formula
- Powdered milk
- Regular formula if your child needs a specialty formula
- Dairy milk
- Goat milk
- Coconut milk
- Rice milk
- Soy milk
- Nut milks
- Hemp milk
Again, the “alternatives” listed above are NOT a viable substitute for baby formula, even in a national shortage. Always consult a physician before incorporating new foods into your baby’s diet.
How Do I Know if My Formula Has Been Recalled?
Luckily, there are several ways you can check to see if your infant formula has been recalled. FDA investigators have researched all recalled products and provided a full list of affected brands for parents. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also has a page dedicated to important information regarding the Similac recall. They share where to find the lot codes on infant formula packaging, as well as identify the lots affected by the recall.
Lastly, Abbott Nutrition has a page on which you can enter the lot number of your baby formula to see if that container may have been affected. Find the lot number on the bottom of the formula container, then enter it on their site. If your container is part of the Similac recall, they will clearly state this once you enter the lot code.
File an Infant Formula Recall Lawsuit Today
At Reich & Binstock, a large portion of our practice is dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims injured by defective or contaminated products. We understand the impact that product recalls can have on families, especially when the recalls apply to products that are already in short supply. If your baby consumed formula that was included in the Similac recall, you may be entitled to compensation. To schedule a free consultation with us, please call our office at 713-622-7271 today. We can evaluate the facts of your case and determine whether or not you qualify for one of the Similac recall lawsuits.