The statute of limitations to file an NEC infant formula lawsuit depends on the state in which you are filing. An NEC infant formula lawsuit is a personal injury case. More specifically, it falls under the category of product liability; therefore, you should look to your state’s product liability statute of limitations.
In Florida, you generally have two years to file a product liability lawsuit. If your state does not have a statute of limitations specifically for product liability, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits would apply.
Parents Are Suing Manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac Infant Formula
There are currently more than 100 lawsuits filed against the makers of cow’s milk-based infant formula, Enfamil and Similac. Claims from plaintiffs allege that feeding the formula to their premature babies led to their infants developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a condition that causes the tissue of the intestines to die.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NEC causes intestinal tissue to become inflamed, decay, and fall off. Perforations left in the damaged intestines allow bacteria present in the intestinal tract to leak into the abdomen, causing serious bacterial infections.
Premature Babies Are the Subject of Most NEC Infant Formula Lawsuits
NEC is most common among premature infants, particularly those who are formula-fed, but it can affect full-term babies, as well. Research from Advances in Neonatal Care: the Official Journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses shows 90% of all NEC cases occur in premature infants. About 10% of babies weighing less than three pounds and four ounces develop NEC. The disease usually occurs in the second or third week after birth. Up to 40% of infants with NEC do not survive it.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases, Which Includes NEC Infant Formula Lawsuits
If you’re filing legal action against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson, which manufacture Similac and Enfamil, respectively, your case is subject to a statute of limitations. This is the law that sets forth how much time a person has to seek relief in court for a wrong they’ve experienced. If you have not submitted a complaint in court before the allotted time expires, you lose your legal right to seek compensation.
Some plaintiffs choose to file their infant formula lawsuits in Illinois, where both Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson have their headquarters. The Illinois statute of limitations for product liability cases is two years from the date the injury occurred or from the date you discovered it.
Florida Residents Have Two Years to Take Legal Action Against Formula Manufacturers for NEC
Per Florida Statutes § 95.11, parents in Florida generally have two years to file a lawsuit for the harm they have endured due to their child developing necrotizing enterocolitis. The state may allow exceptions for parents under certain circumstances, so speaking to a lawyer is the best way to find out.
Exceptions to the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations for Children
Florida gives minors additional time to file a lawsuit for their injuries. Under Florida Statute § 95.051, children under 18 years old have seven years after the date of injury to file suit. Minors cannot file a lawsuit in the state of Florida, so their legal guardian is responsible for taking action on their behalf with approval from the state in most cases.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Infant Formula NEC Lawsuits
Some parents have chosen to sue the doctors who approved or prescribed Enfamil or Similac baby formula for their preterm infants. These cases are medical malpractice lawsuits rather than product liability. Medical malpractice cases are sometimes subject to a different statute of limitations, depending on the state.
In Florida, victims of medical malpractice have two years from the date of injury or two years from the date they discovered the injury to file a claim against the healthcare professional or facility.
Date of Injury vs. Date You Discovered It
The distinction between when the injury occurred and when you discover it is key to applying the correct legal deadline. You may have been harmed but did not know it until later. The law in Florida allows for this discrepancy but only to a point. The state does not allow you to file a medical malpractice lawsuit beyond two years from the date the injury occurred, even if you could not have possibly discovered the cause of the injury before then.
Exceptions for Children Filing Medical Malpractice Claims
The medical malpractice statute of limitations for child victims is two years from the date of injury or the date of discovery or until the child turns eight years old, whichever is longer.
It’s in your best interest to contact an attorney to ensure you have the right legal deadline and that you file the type of case most suitable for your situation.
Find Out How the State of Limitations Applies to Your Infant Formula NEC Lawsuit
If your baby suffered necrotizing enterocolitis after consuming baby formula, do not hesitate to contact Ged Lawyers. Our product liability lawyers in Florida and Massachusetts can help you build your case by investigating how the NEC occurred and gathering the scientific and medical evidence you need to support your claims. We’ll make sure you understand the statute of limitations to file an NEC infant formula lawsuit and get your case filed on time. Call today for a free case review.