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Proving the Cause of Death of a Child – Factors to Consider – Missouri Newborn Dies After Consuming Formula

By Joseph R. Hillebrand Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Missouri and other States, the loss or death of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. The stress and trauma from the child’s death is often times exasperated when the cause is unknown. It is event worse if an investigation later reveals that the death could have been prevented. When a child dies from unknown causes, an autopsy is typically performed to determine the cause, manner, and, yes, the preventability of the death of the child. While an autopsy will do nothing to bring back the child, the results of an autopsy can provide a family with needed answers in their time of grief. Furthermore, autopsy investigations and results can result in actions that end up protecting other children from similar deaths or personal injuries. Proving the causation of a child’s death can be an extremely complicated medical and legal matter. Because of this, it is helpful to have the the advice, consultation, and representation of a Child Injury Lawyer on these matters.

In December 2011, Wal-Mart pulled a shipment of baby formula off the shelf in response to the reported death of a Missouri baby. In fact, the formula was removed from 3000 of Wal Mart’s stores as a preventative measure if the formula played a role or was a causative factor in this child’s death. The formula at issue was 12.5 ounce cans of Enfamil Newborn powder. While testing with the manufacturer – Mead Johnson Nutrition – showed that the lot was negative for bacterium prior to shipment, Wal Mart made the business decision to pull the formula off of the shelf pending further investigation and information. See Wal Mart Pulls Baby Formula Off Shelves of 3000 Wal Mart Stores.

Avery Cornett, a newborn, was transported to St. John’s Hospital, after he was noted to be lethargic and appeared to have some kind of stomach ache. Testing later revealed that the child had Cronobacter Sakazakii which is a rare form of a bacterial infection. The child’s condition deteriorated and he was put on life support. Avery died after the life support was discontinued.

It was reported that health department officials will be investigating this matter to determine what factors may have caused or contributed to the child’s death including an analysis of the formula, water, and other environmental factors.

When a child dies or suffers personal injuries, there are often times many issues for a parent to deal with including potential legal and insurance issues. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Needs to Know – has chapters on Damages / Compensation, Medical Bills / Medical Treatment, and other topics. You can receive a free book at The ABCs of Child Injury.