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Reckitt Unit Hit With $60 Million Verdict in Enfamil Child Components Case

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An Illinois jury has ordered Reckitt Benckiser unit Mead Johnson to pay $60 million to the mom of a untimely child who died of an intestinal illness after being fed the corporate’s Enfamil child components.

The jury in an Illinois state court docket in St. Clair County on Wednesday discovered that Mead Johnson was negligent and that it did not warn of the danger of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The illness, which causes the demise of bowel tissue, principally impacts untimely newborns and has a fatality fee of about 15% to 40%.

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The $60 million verdict consists of compensation for plaintiff Jasmine Watson’s loss and grief, and for the ache and struggling of her child, Probability Dean. Reckitt Benckiser mentioned on Friday it will pursue all choices to have the decision overturned.

The decision comes within the first trial out of lots of of lawsuits claiming that numerous Enfamil and Abbott Laboratories’ Similac formulation brought on NEC.

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In accordance with the U.S. Nationwide Institutes of Well being, there may be proof that components increases the risk of NEC in untimely infants in contrast w0th breast milk.

“This verdict confirms what Mead Johnson has recognized for years: cow’s-milk based mostly child components causes NEC in preterm infants, typically with deadly penalties,” Ben Whiting, a lawyer for Watson, mentioned in a press release.

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Mead Johnson mentioned in a press release that it was upset with the decision and would attraction it.

“We proceed to consider that the allegations from the plaintiff’s attorneys on this case weren’t supported by the science or specialists within the medical neighborhood,” it mentioned.

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Greater than 400 NEC lawsuits in opposition to Mead Johnson and Abbott are pending in federal court docket in Chicago, and others, like Watson’s are in state courts.

Plaintiffs within the instances say that the businesses hid the truth that their components, together with merchandise made particularly for untimely infants and others, was riskier than alternate options like donor milk.

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The businesses have denied the allegations.

The NEC lawsuits are separate from ongoing litigation in opposition to Abbott over the shutdown of its Sturgis, Michigan, plant and subsequent recall of batches of child components for attainable contamination, which contributed to a nationwide components scarcity in 2022.

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Abbott has denied that it distributed tainted components.

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