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Abbott Recalls Three Powdered Formulas Linked to Child Illness and Death

Abbott Recalls Three Powdered Formulas Linked to Child Illness and Death Abbott Laboratories, an American manufacturer of medical devices, nutritional products, and other healthcare products, recently announced that the company is recalling three popular, powdered baby formulas in response to four infants becoming ill after using the brands. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates medical products is urging consumers not to buy or use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare because they could be contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii and salmonella Newport.

According to Fox Business, the FDA is focused on the formulas produced at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan, facility. The FDA is investigating the four cases of infant illness which involved Cronobacter sakazakii and salmonella Newport infections in Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas. In each case, the infant required hospitalization. “Cronobacter may have contributed to a death in one case.”

What did the FDA say about the baby formulas?

The FDA warning states that a fifth case of Cronobacter sakazakii exposure from a powdered infant formula produced at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility resulted in death. The infection may have caused the death.

The FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas if:

  • The first two digits of the code are 22 through 37; and
  • The code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2; and
  • The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.

The baby formula products made at the Sturgis, Michigan facility are sold throughout the US and were also likely sold to foreign countries.

Abbotts’ recall notice of the dangerous baby formulas

According to the FDA, Abbott initiated a voluntary recall after receiving notice of the four infant illnesses. The FDA analyzed environmental samples that found “several positive Cronobacter sakazakii results.” The FDA also found that Abbott’s own internal records showed Cronobacter sakazakii environmental contamination. Abbott destroyed the product as a result of the contamination.

The recall is effective through April 1, 2022. Abbott claims that no liquid baby formulas, nor any other powder formulas or nutrition products from other facilities, are involved.

The February 17, 2022, recall notice confirms the recall of powder formulas, including Similac, Alimentum and EleCare, manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan.

The voluntary February 28, 2022, recall notice by Abbott states that the company is: “voluntarily recalling one lot of Similac PM 60/40 (Lot # 27032K80 (can) / Lot # 27032K800 (case)) manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan. This is in addition to lots of Similac®, Alimentum® and EleCare® powder formula that were voluntarily recalled on Feb. 17.” The recall notice provides a link for determining if the baby formula product you have is part of the recall.

Are these bacteria dangerous?

FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas said that the federal agency is deeply concerned about these bacterial infection reports. The agency said it regularly tests manufacturing facilities for pathogens.

Per Fox, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that Cronobacter is a germ found in the environment. While infections are rare, they can be deadly. Salmonella poisoning symptoms include fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Severe symptoms include headaches, blood in the stool or urine, and a rash. Salmonella poisoning can be deadly. Parents are advised to contact their local health care provider if their infant is experiencing symptoms.

Liability for dangerous or deadly products

Manufacturers of any nutritional product, drug, or any other consumer product can be held liable if their product causes a baby or any user harm or death. Our Phoenix product liability lawyers file product liability claims on behalf of injured newborns, children, adults, and families. These claims can be based on strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty/failure to warn.

We file strict liability claims when defective products such as these baby formulas injure or kill the people who use the products. A strict liability claim means that the manufacturer is liable for any injuries or deaths that occur – whether the company was negligent or not. The criteria for proving a strict liability claim are:

  • The product, such as powdered baby formula, was defective.
  • A baby or other person used the product.
  • The defect caused the baby’s injuries or death.
  • The loss resulted in damages for the family, such as medical bills.

A product is considered defective if the design is faulty, if the product was manufactured improperly, or if the instructions on using the product are unclear or wrong. A manufacturer can also be held strictly liable if the manufacturer failed to provide proper warnings on how to use the product or the dangers involved with using the product.

We also file negligence claims where we assert there were steps and procedures the manufacturers should have taken or failed to take. For example, negligence may include not conducting sufficient tests of the products before placing the products on the market.

Another legal basis for holding manufacturers liable for their products is to file a breach of warranty claim. This claim asserts that the manufacturer breached either express of implied warranties as to how well the product would work.

In addition to manufacturers, the defendants in product liability claims include the distributors and sellers of the defective products.

Our Phoenix product liability lawyers work with professionals who understand how to show a product is defective. The professionals are usually experts who understand the products and the appropriate industry standards. In addition, we use product recalls by agencies such as the FDA to help show a product was defective when it was used.

There’s no greater tragedy than witnessing a child die before his/her life has barely even begun. Hospitalizations and illnesses are frightening. If you believe your newborn or child is suffering from the use of any nutritional product or medication, you may be entitled to compensation. At Plattner Verderame, P.C., our Phoenix product liability lawyers have numerous 7-figure and 6-figure settlements and verdicts. We’ll fight to obtain all the compensation you deserve for your child’s injuries or the tragic death of a child. To learn if you have a claim, call us at 602.266.2002 or use our contact form to schedule a free appointment. We have offices in Phoenix and Tempe.