CHICAGO (CBS) – A woman filed a potential class action lawsuit against a northwest suburban laboratory that allegedly produced baby formula containing beetles and beetle larvae that she claims made her infant child sick.
Maria C. Kiely claims Abbott Laboratories Inc. designed, manufactured, marketed, advertised, distributed and sold defective Similac-brand infant powder formulas contaminated with beetles and beetle larvae, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court.
Similac is the most widely-used infant formula in hospitals in the United States and is sold in grocery stores and pharmacies throughout the country, according to the suit.
Abbott discovered the contamination Sept. 16, but waited until Sept. 22 before informing the public and instituting a recall, the suit said.
A Sept. 22 press release from Abbott claimed the recall came after an internal quality review that detected a remote possibility of a small common beetle in the product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility.
“The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating their GI tract,” the release said.
The suit claims the formula could cause gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea in children who consumed the formula.
Kiely claims she purchased the formula Aug. 16 for consumption by her infant child, who was sickened by the product.
Kiely, an Illinois resident, is seeking to represent a class that includes all United States residents who purchased Similac infant formula subject to the Sept. 22 recall.
The nine-count suit claims, among other things, negligence, misrepresentation, breach of contract and warranty and unjust enrichment.
Kiely is seeking a judge certify the class, enter judgment against Abbott and award restitution to herself and the class that includes legal fees. The suit claims there are “well over” 100 class members and their claims should exceed more than $5 million.
An Abbott Laboratories spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.
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