Class action claims infant sickened by tainted Similac

Michelle Massey Jan. 10, 2011, 2:11am


A class action has been filed against the manufacturers of Similac baby formula which was recalled in September for possible contamination by beetles.

John L. and Jennifer M. O'Neil filed suit against Abbott Laboratories Inc. (Delaware) and Abbott Laboratories on Dec. 16 in Tangipahoa District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Jan. 4.

According to the lawsuit, the parents gave their two-month old baby Similac Isomil Sensitive beginning in September. The parents state their baby began suffering diarrhea shortly thereafter.

Their doctor recommended switching formulas and subsequently, the infant recovered. At the end of September, the defendants issued a voluntary recall order after small common beetles were found at its Michigan manufacturing facility.

The parents argue that the products were contaminated to such an extent that their baby was sickened and required medical treatment.

The defendants are accused of negligence by breaching their duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent infants from being sickened by the "tainted Similac."

"The Abbott defendant's conduct was committed with conscious or reckless disregard for the rights of plaintiffs and their minor child and those similarly situated and were grossly negligent and unreasonable," the lawsuit states.

The proposed class will include consumers who purchased Similac Advanced, Similac Sensitive and Similac Go and Grow in 2010 and who fed the Similac product to infant children who then subequently became sickened.

The proposed class is asking for an award of no more than $10,000 for each named plaintiff, court costs and interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by Patrick W. Pendley of Pendley, Baudin & Coffin in Plaquemine and William A. Grimley in Baton Rouge. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00011

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