Bellwether NEC Baby Formula Trial Begins July 8, Watch Gavel-to-Gavel via CVN

Posted by David Siegel on Jun 27, 2024 11:51:07 AM

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stock image of baby formula 

St. Louis, MO - A closely watched bellwether trial over the supposed health risk to premature infants from cow milk-based baby formula begins July 8 in Missouri state court, and the full trial will be webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.

The trial is just the second to date involving claims that cow milk-based formula is linked to a dangerous medical condition called necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, which causes inflammation of the intestines and the potential death of colon tissue. The first such trial in April resulted in an Illinois jury awarding $60 million to the mother of a premature baby who died of the condition.

That case involved formula manufacturer Mead Johnson & Company, LLC, while the pending Missouri trial involves formula manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. Both companies maintain their baby formula is safe, and that the scientific theories plaintiff lawyers rely on are not supported by the scientific evidence.

With thousands of similar cases pending in state court, in addition to another bellwether trial in federal multi-district litigation slated for early 2025, the July trial before Judge Michael Noble in Missouri’s 22nd Circuit Court could have a substantial impact on the future resolution of these cases along with how premature infants receive nourishment in neonatal intensive care units.

CVN’s gavel-to-gavel coverage commences with the start of opening statements, and will be available both live and on-demand, including all witness testimony. CVN has similarly covered numerous other product liability trials in the St. Louis area, including trials involving Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc products and Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.


Given the high stakes of the pending trial both sides are relying on some of the top plaintiff and defense firms in the country.

The plaintiffs are represented by teams from the Illinois-based firm TorHoerman Law, in addition to local Missouri counsel from Stranch Jennings & Garvey PLLC.

Abbott is represented by teams from Winston & Strawn LLP’s Chicago office, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s Chicago and Los Angeles offices, and attorneys from Jones Day’s Washington D.C. office, in addition to local Missouri counsel from HelperBroom LLC and Thompson Coburn LLP.

The trial is scheduled to run through most of July, with another baby formula case in the same court potentially going forward in August. 

The case is captioned Margot Gill, on behalf of herself and her minor child R.D. v. Abbott Laboratories, et al., case number 2322-CC01251 in Missouri’s 22nd Judicial Circuit in the City of St. Louis.

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Topics: Missouri