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Seminole County Couple Sues, Claims Product Caused Infant’s Death

Posted on November 20, 2012

The parents of a premature infant who died soon after being discharged from the hospital are suing the hospital and the manufacturer of the thickening product SimplyThick, claiming that the product was defective and caused his death.

The baby was born at 27 weeks and spent the first few months of his life at Florida Hospital. When the boy was discharged from the neonatal unit, hospital staff sent home packets of SimplyThick, a product given to premature babies who have swallowing difficulties.

Soon after, the parents rushed the boy to the emergency room when he became ill and developed severe diarrhea. He died at the hospital of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a condition where the intestines become inflamed and die.

Sadly, a month after the infant’s death in April of 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that advised parents of premature infants not to use SimplyThick because 15 cases of NEC possibly linked to the product had been reported — including two deaths. The manufacturer voluntarily recalled SimplyThick soon after.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents claims that packets of SimplyThick were contaminated with bacteria and that the FDA had found numerous problems with SimplyThick’s manufacturing plant in Georgia. The suit goes on to allege that the company was aware of the defects before the boy’s death, but that none of the defendants took steps to warn them about the potential danger associated with the product.

The boy’s twin sister, who was also born at 27 weeks, was not given SimplyThick and is alive and doing well. Since the boy’s death, the FDA has identified 22 infants who developed NEC after using SimplyThick. Seven of them died.

The loss of a child is a terrible thing. This is especially true if a defective or contaminated product may have been responsible for the death. These kinds of cases can be difficult, financially and emotionally. The Seminole County wrongful death attorneys at Farah & Farah can help you during a trying time by providing compassionate and experienced legal representation. Call us at (800) 533-3555 for a free consultation and case review.