Meningitis Blamed On Baby Formula

     MINNEAPOLIS (CN) – A newborn baby suffered brain damage from meningitis it contracted from Abbott Labs’ “Similac” or Mead Johnson’s “Enfamil” powdered baby formula, the parents claim in Hennepin County Court.

     Evan Burks’ parents say they took him home from hospital on June 22, 2006, three days after he was born by Caesarean section one week prematurely. They fed him Similac and Enfamil from then on, and on July 2 he was hospitalized in intensive care with meningitis from Enterobacter sakazakii, which the parents say he contracted from one of the powdered formulas.
     The Burkses says that Abbott’s powdered infant formula labels now warn, “‘powdered infant formulas are not sterile and should not be fed to premature infants and infants who might have immune problems.’ Mead’s powdered infant formula labels contain this same warning.”
     However, the Burkses say, Abbot did not post that warning until August 2006, though the company “had known for years” of the dangers.
     They claim that after Mead recalled its powdered formula in March 2002 because of Enterobacter sakazakii contamination, the FDA tested the products “at U.S. powdered infant formula manufacturing facilities” and found that 23 percent of them contained Enterobacter sakazakii.
     The Burkses say they incurred “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in medical expenses, and their son suffered pain and disabling injuries. They demand $50 million. They are represented by Stephen Rathke with Lommen Abdo & Cole.

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