Baby Formula MDL Plaintiffs’ Leadership Appointed

Libby Vish, Esq. | VP, Business Development


On Thursday, September 9, 2022 in the Abbott Infant Formula Multi-District Litigation (“MDL”), U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division issued Case Management Order #2 naming a plaintiff leadership committee.

The following two attorneys were appointed to serve as plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel: Stacy K. Hauer and E. Samuel Geisler. Judge Kennelly’s order specifically laid out their duties and responsibilities.

Judge Kennelly appointed 10 attorneys to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (“PSC”) Kiley Grombacher (Co-Chair Class Committee), Marjorie Levine, Patrick Luff, B. Kristian Rasmussen, Cristina Sabbagh, Daniel J.T. Sciano, Jonathan Sedgh, Jason Thompson (Co-Chair Class Committee), Roy Wiley and James Dugan, II.

In August 2022 the JPML ordered the consolidation of suits related to Abbott’s Infant Formula. The nature of the injuries are personal injury and wrongful death claims associated with the brands Similac, Alimentum and EleCare. Plaintiffs allege the formula was tainted with Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria. In mid-August, there were 22 cases filed. That number is expected to increase to potentially hundreds of cases.

The lawsuit also includes cases by consumers alleging they paid a premium for the formula.

Preceding the suits, U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors found evidence of bacterial contamination and unsafe conditions. This led to Abbott closing its plant in Michigan and recalling formula. Despite these actions, Abbott has maintained that there is no evidence that contaminated formula was shipped to consumers.

The case is In re Recalled Abbott Infant Formula Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, case number not yet assigned.

For plaintiffs: Stacy Hauer of Johnson Becker, Sam Geisler and Bryan Aylstock of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz and others

For Abbott: James Hurst of Kirkland & Ellis and others

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