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Parents Blame Enfamil for Baby’s Death

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) - A baby died and two others became severely ill from contaminated Enfamil baby formula made by Mead Johnson, parents claim in court.

Avery Cornett died from the contaminated formula on Dec. 18, 2011, her parents claim in St. Clair County Court. Parents of two babies who became ill joined as plaintiffs.

The parents say the Enfamil contained Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria, which can cause sepsis, meningitis and intestinal tract damage to infants with immature immune systems.

"The source of bacteria that caused each of the plaintiff newborns' bacterial infections was newborn food manufactured by defendants," the complaint states. "Defendants directly caused the injuries to plaintiff newborns.

"The sources of contamination in all versions of newborn food are defendants' shared manufacturing facilities, manufacturing equipment, raw ingredients, filling and packaging equipment, storage areas, cleaning equipment and/or personnel.

"The newborn food that harmed each of the plaintiff newborns had common ingredients, ingredients from common sources and was from common batches and had common expiration dates.

"Although defendants manufacture different versions of newborn food, all of the products share many of the same basic raw ingredients, manufacturing facilities, processing and equipment, filling and packaging equipment, finished product storage areas, and cleaning equipment and personnel."

The plaintiffs seek damages for negligence, failure to warn, product liability, breach of implied warranty and fraud. They are represented by James Lemonds, with Brown & Crouppen, of St. Louis.

This is not the first time around for Mead Johnson. Parents sued the company in June 2008, in Hennepin County (Minneapolis), claiming their baby suffered brain damage from meningitis after drinking Enfamil formula with the same bacteria.

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