Suit alleges baby boy died from NEC after consuming infant formula

The parents of a premature infant claim their child developed necrotizing enterocolitis after being fed Similac or Enfamil infant formula, resulting in his death.

Mallory and Wojciech Kon, as co-representatives of the estate of Theodore Edward Kon, filed a lawsuit on Jan. 25 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Mead Johnson and Company, LLC., Mead Johnson Nutrition Company and Abbott Laboratories.

The lawsuit alleges strict liability for design defect, strict liability for failure to warn, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty and loss of consortium.

According to the complaint, Theodore Edward Kon was born prematurely to the plaintiffs and was fed Similac or Enfamil infant formula while in the hospital. After consuming the unpasteurized cow’s milk formula, Theodore Kon developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). He underwent several surgeries, including to remove a portion of his intestines, but died on Feb. 8, 2020.

NEC develops when harmful bacteria breaches the walls of the intestine, causing portions of the intestine to become inflamed and usually die. Once NEC develops, the condition can progress quickly into fatal sepsis. NEC is six to 10 times more common to develop in premature infants feeding on unpasteurized cow’s milk than in breast milk-fed babies. Up to 30 percent of NEC-diagnosed infants die from the disease.

The plaintiffs allege that none of the defendants offered warnings on their products or through marketing that products were unsafe or could be harmful to premature infants. The plaintiffs also claim they did not offer statistical data of the connection between NEC development and unpasteurized cow’s milk, making them negligent.

The plaintiffs claim they were caused to suffer emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of income, loss of consortium, lost earning capacity, lost profits, out-of-pocket costs and medical expenses.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, damages for past, present and future emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, mental anguish and other non-economic losses, past, present and future out-of-pocket expenses, loss of income and/or lost revenue, lost profits, lost business opportunity, lost earning capacity, cost related to medical or mental health treatment, interest, attorney’s fees and cost of suit.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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