Necrotizing enterocolitis – NEC – is an intestinal disease that afflicts premature and preterm babies. The popular infant formulas Similac and Enfamil have been linked to NEC. Parents of children with necrotizing enterocolitis should discuss their rights at once with a national product liability attorney.
A number of lawsuits are currently pending against Mead Johnson (the manufacturer of Enfamil) and Abbott (the manufacturer of Similac). These lawsuits allege that the companies knew about the dangers that were linked to their infant formulas but failed to inform consumers.
What are the symptoms and effects of necrotizing enterocolitis? If your child is diagnosed with this disease, and if your child consumed Similac or Enfamil, what are your family’s rights? Is there a deadline for you to take legal action? Keep reading for the answers you may need.
What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
Necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC is a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal system that may cause intestinal tissue to become inflamed and decayed. NEC may also cause perforations in the intestines. When bacteria leaks into the abdomen, that bacteria may cause peritonitis and sepsis.
Although necrotizing enterocolitis usually occurs in babies from three to twelve days after birth, late onset can occur weeks later. However, as no specific microorganism is considered causative, broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy remains the most common treatment for NEC.
The symptoms of NEC vary and at first may be difficult to determine. Eventually, however, symptoms may include yellow or green vomit, changes in breathing and heart rate, lethargy, bloody diarrhea, an inability to gain weight, a refusal to eat, and abdominal swelling and pain.
What Makes Necrotizing Enterocolitis So Dangerous?
No other disease causes large sections of the intestines to become necrotic and die. Necrotizing enterocolitis is common, and it can be fatal. It is primarily a disease of premature infants, and it is the most common cause of death among premature infants older than two weeks of age.
Both Similac and Enfamil have been known to raise the risk to premature infants for necrotizing enterocolitis. If your own child developed necrotizing enterocolitis after consuming either Similac or Enfamil, you may have grounds to bring a lawsuit against the formula’s manufacturer.
What is the Deadline for a Parent to Take Legal Action?
All product liability claims are governed by a statute of limitations. In each state, a statute of limitations determines how much time you have to bring a lawsuit. While there are exceptions in each state, in most cases, if you miss the deadline, you will not be able to take legal action.
In all but five states, the deadline is two, three, or four years. The exceptions are Kentucky and Louisiana (one year), Maine and North Dakota (six years), and Missouri (five years).
Without regard to where your family lives, if your child has developed necrotizing enterocolitis after consuming Enfamil or Similac, speak to a lawyer at once. You may contact a national product liability lawyer about an NEC claim from anywhere in the United States.
When Does the “Clock” Begin on a Statute of Limitations?
With many product liability claims, it’s easy to know when your state’s statute of limitations period begins. If your cigarette lighter or cell phone explodes and injures you, and you live in New York, for example, you must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of that incident, but in California, your deadline is two years.
Other injuries may be much more difficult to detect. Your child may not be diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis for days or weeks after consuming Enfamil or Similac. The question of when the statute of limitations period begins may be critically important to your case.
Not only do the deadlines for filing a product liability claim vary from state to state, but the rules for when the statute of limitations period begins also vary from state to state. In some states, the statute of limitations period begins on the date when the injury actually happened.
In most states, however, the statute of limitations period begins on the date that the injury is finally diagnosed or discovered (or should have been discovered).
When “Should” an Injury or Medical Condition Be Discovered?
To clarify the phrase “should have been discovered,” consider this example: Many people have developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos inhalation. If they ignore their symptoms for too long and avoid seeing a doctor, the statute of limitations for a mesothelioma claim may begin because the mesothelioma should have been discovered sooner rather than later.
It doesn’t matter what state you live in. A national product liability lawyer can advise you about the statute of limitations rules and deadlines in your own state for filing a necrotizing enterocolitis claim.
If you have missed the deadline in your own state, it is possible that you may be able to file a product liability claim in another state, but that will depend on the details of your case. A national product liability attorney can recommend the best way for you to proceed legally.
Can Your Family Afford an Attorney’s Help?
Your family may already be facing mounting medical expenses due to necrotizing enterocolitis, but there is no need to let your financial concerns keep you from seeking justice and compensation on your child’s behalf. Product liability attorneys work on a contingent fee basis.
This means that you will pay no fee upfront to the attorney who handles your NEC claim, and you’ll pay no attorney’s fee until and unless your family is compensated. If for any reason your family does not receive compensation at the end of the legal process, you pay no attorney’s fee.
An initial case review is provided at no cost or obligation to parents of children with necrotizing enterocolitis. It’s your chance to obtain the personalized legal advice your family needs and to learn how the product liability laws apply in your own circumstances.
If your child has been injured by necrotizing enterocolitis after consuming Similac or Enfamil, ask a product liability attorney who routinely handles NEC claims nationwide for a free case evaluation. Do it today.