Charleston law firm files class action lawsuit over tainted infant formula

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – A Lowcountry law firm is filing a nationwide class action lawsuit against the lab that makes infant formula, which was recently recalled by the Food and Drug Administration for possible contamination.

The FDA warns consumers not to use or purchase certain powdered formulas such as Alimentum, Similac and Elecare manufactured by Abbott Nutrition because they may be contaminated with bacteria. Roy Willey, a litigator from the Anastopoulo law firm representing the case, said people around the world could be affected.

“There’s a certain level of trust with this product that’s really been broken because they’ve known about it for four months and allowed customers to keep buying it,” Willey says.

The FDA is investigating after several babies were hospitalized and one died. Investigators believe the illnesses may be linked to contamination of some of the company’s powdered baby formula.

“Similac is supposed to be one of the best. It’s the one the hospitals here give you,” Willey said.

Officials say the babies are showing side effects of diarrhea, fever and intestinal damage. Willey says they represent a client in Ridgeville whose baby was exposed.

“She’s just one of many people who have been affected by this. It’s happened nationwide and it’s very widespread,” Willey says.

Willey says this lawsuit hits close to home because he has a three-week-old baby who uses one of the recalled formulas.

“We are in the middle of this. In fact, I had this product and was giving it to my child,” he says.

Advocates say the liquid product is safe, but the bacteria lives in dry conditions and urges people to make sure they reject any recalls.

“Most of this formula is produced at the facility, so if you have this formula, you probably have the affected recall,” Willey says.

Officials say currently all Silimac Alimentums that expire on April 1 are those that have been recalled, but the FDA says it is still investigating the facility.

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