AWKO Files Petition Over Recalled Baby Formula

Apr 20, 2022

Petition to Centralize Federal Litigation Over Abbott’s Recalled Baby Formula Linked to Deadly Cronobacter Contamination.

Petition follows the nationwide filing of nearly 20 lawsuits based on physical and/or economic injuries allegedly caused by the recalled formula.

On Thursday, April 14, 2022, Bryan F. Aylstock, Sam Geisler and Caitlyn Miller of Pensacola-based Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz law firm filed the first petition to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) for the entry of an order transferring all present and future federal-filed cases involving Abbott’s recalled powdered baby formula to United States District Judge Beth Bloom of the Southern District of Florida.

On February 17, 2022, the FDA warned consumers to “not use recalled Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powdered infant formulas produced in Sturgis, Michigan,” referencing the FDA’s investigation of four hospitalizations and two deaths of infants reported to have ingested Abbott’s powdered baby formula from its Sturgis, Michigan plant.  Three of the infants were infected with Cronobacter sakazakii and one with Salmonella Newport.  The mortality rate of infants contracting Cronobacter is reported to run as high as 80%. Infections can lead to sepsis, severe meningitis and/or death.

The FDA released reports documenting the Agency’s observations following several inspections of Abbott’s Sturgis plant, including that:

  • Cronobacter Sakazakiiwas present in the Sturgis plant[1]
  • Abbott failed to adequately test for Cronobacter in its powdered infant formula,[2] and
  • Abbott failed to ensure numerous controls were in place sufficient to prevent contamination of its Sturgis powdered infant formula line.[3]

“The FDA’s inspection reports strongly signal that Abbott, a Fortune 100 company, cut corners in its production of certain infant formulas,” stated Mr. Aylstock.  “That Abbott was manufacturing what could comprise the sole food source for the most vulnerable among us is all the more concerning.”

Mr. Aylstock advocates for centralization and consolidation of the matters before Judge Bloom due to her considerable experience overseeing complex litigation matters, including class actions, as well as her efficient management of the earliest-filed recalled formula lawsuit which has been set for jury trial on May 8, 2023.

“These families deserve their day in court sooner rather than later,” added Mr. Aylstock.

Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC is a Pensacola-based law firm specializing in complex litigation on behalf of consumers injured by defective products, drugs, and medical devices.

[1] FDA, March 18, 2022, Form 483 (last accessed on April 13, 2022).

[2] FDA, Sept. 24, 2019, Form 483 (last accessed on April 13, 2022).

[3] FDA, Sept. 24, 2021, Form 483  (last accessed on April 13, 2022).

Media Contact:
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