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The Cates Law Firm, LLC Announces $60 Million Jury Verdict in First NEC Trial in the Country

Published: Mar 27, 2024 in Firm News
Cates Law Firm

A St. Clair County jury has awarded $60 million in compensatory damages to Jasmine Watson for the loss of her son, Chance Dean, who died as a result of contracting necrotizing enterocolitis after consuming Mead Johnson’s cow’s milk-based premature infant formula.

Case #21-L-1032 Watson v. Mead Johnson in St. Clair County lasted nearly four weeks in trial and was led by Plaintiff attorneys Sean Grimsley, Kenzo Kawanabe, and Abigail Hinchcliff of Olson, Grimsley, Kawanabe, Hinchcliff & Murray, LLC; Ben Whiting and Amelia Frenkel of Keller Postman, LLC; and David Cates and Katie St. John of The Cates Law Firm, LLC. Ms. Watson alleged that Mead Johnson failed to warn of the risks associated with using the cow’s milk-based premature infant formula and was negligent in doing so. According to Mr. Cates, the use of cow’s milk-based formula in premature infants has been known to increase the risk of the infant developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a condition that causes the intestinal tract to bleed and causes serious complications and death.

“The jury heard the evidence and agreed that Mead Johnson failed to warn parents of the increased risk of NEC and was negligent in failing to warn about this very serious condition,” according to Cates. “The jury found, and we agree, that if Mead Johnson took its corporate responsibilities seriously to the very small babies who are fed its products, Chance would be alive today,” Cates continued.

The four-week trial culminated in jury deliberations that lasted less than two hours, with the jury awarding more than what Plaintiff’s counsel requested.

“The jury delivered a resounding statement about the failures of the preterm infant formula industry and their cow’s milk-based product.”

The Cates Law Firm, LLC was grateful to be part of the team with such wonderful lawyers and legal assistants, all of whom worked tirelessly to produce this result.

This was the first NEC trial in the country, with hundreds of more similar cases filed in various states. The Cates Law Firm, LLC remains steadfast in its efforts to bring justice to many other families who have suffered at the hands of Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories as a result of their sale and marketing of these cow’s milk-based preterm formula products.

The Cates Law Firm, LLC is dedicated to putting their clients’ needs first when they have been harmed by negligence. The firm has helped countless clients achieve justice for defective and dangerous products. To schedule a free consultation, call 618-277-3644 or contact online. Located in Swansea, Illinois, the firm serves clients in the surrounding areas.