It seems like just last week that I wrote about the recall of 120,000 Fisher-Price Rock ’n Glide Soothers that were linked to multiple infant deaths. My company has worked with many parents who have lost children because of defective products like this one, and I can tell you that in every case, the story is almost unbearable. How can manufacturers continually put products on the market that haven’t been adequately tested, knowing how many families have lost little ones because of these kinds of missteps?
Recently, we’ve been talking with attorneys about some particularly appalling news. Infant formula under the brands Similac and Enfamil are causing some premature infants to develop a life-threatening gastrointestinal disorder called necrotizing enterocolitis. NEC leads to intestinal necrosis and can cause organ failure and death. The worst part is that the infant formula culprits are specially designed for premature infants – who are most at risk of developing NEC.
I have strong feelings about these situations, first as a dad and then as a plaintiff settlement planner, but I thought I’d get the opinions of some of the mothers at my company who have infants. Here are their reactions to the news about the connection between Similac and Enfamil preemie infant formula and NEC.
“As a new mom, this is heartbreaking. When I gave birth to my son, I put so must trust into the products that the hospital provided. It’s such a vulnerable, uncharted time for you and your baby; you almost have to relinquish control and trust the experts. My heart goes out to the parents and babies affected by this formula that never should have been on the market to begin with.” – Jordyn Burnell, Public Relations & Projects Manager
“It’s terrifying to hear about this discovery and lack of communication. As a new parent, there are already so many decisions you need to make for your child. It’s very unsettling to know that this information would not be of the utmost importance and passed along to the medical field immediately. Parents to premature babies are already going through many new challenges and should not have to worry about something that can be 100% preventable with proper communication.” – Megan Van Rentergem, Executive Assistant
“With only a few months to go until I have an infant of my own, I’m unsettled to know that there are dangerous products out there that are routinely used for the littlest humans. As moms, we rightfully expect manufacturers to adequately test and warn when needed. It’s unacceptable to drop the ball this badly with products that are critical for so many infants. Shame on them.” – Allison McClure, Content & Communications Manager
What happens next for the parents who have faced the devastation of NEC with their premature babies? Many of their questions are likely still unanswered. And on top of the stress, confusion, and grief in their situations, there’s a great deal of anger toward the companies that allowed their children to face this pain. Contacting an attorney won’t change the past, but it can provide a means of getting some clarity and seeking justice for a situation that never should have occurred in the first place.
If you know anyone who is the parent of a newborn, I encourage you to pass this news along to them so they can make informed decisions moving forward. Let’s all help each other out and spread the word.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).