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How to File a Baby Food Lawsuit

Baby foods

The Problem: By now you have probably heard about the U.S. government report that found several major baby food companies knowingly sell products that contain dangerous amounts of arsenic, lead, and mercury. Since the release of that 2021 report, not much has changed in the baby food industry, as evidenced by the latest testing results from Consumer Reports, which found significant amounts of toxic metals in snack puffs and products with rice or sweet potatoes. Numerous studies have found that young children exposed to toxic metals may be at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and ADHD.

What You Can Do: Parents may choose to pursue a baby food autism lawsuit against several leading baby food manufacturers to recover compensation. Filing a legal claim against Beech-Nut, Gerber, Hain Celestial Group (Earth's Best Organic), Nurture (Happy Family Organics and Happy BABY), Plum Organics, Sprout Foods (Sprout Organic Food), and/or Walmart – Parent's Choice can help pay for health care costs and expensive therapy sessions associated with your child’s ASD or ADHD diagnosis.

In this blog, the baby food lawyers at Wisner Baum walk you through the process of filing a lawsuit, including what you will need to collect for your case, and what your claim might be worth.

Information on Filing a Baby Food Lawsuit

Is the Autism Baby Food Lawsuit Legit?

Yes. The baby food lawyers at Wisner Baum represent roughly 3,500 American children who developed autism and/or ADHD after consuming baby foods from the companies listed above. Our lawsuits allege Gerber, Hain, Walmart, and other baby food companies knowingly selling baby food products with dangerously high amounts of toxic heavy metals.

Numerous studies have found that babies and young children who consume toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury are at risk for developing autism and/or ADHD (you can read more about these studies below). These studies shed light on the elevated susceptibility of children, particularly infants, to the effects of heavy metals due to their higher food consumption in relation to body weight and their limited ability to metabolize and eliminate these toxins.

Has Gerber Baby Food Been Linked to Autism?

Baby foods from Gerber and other U.S. brands have tested high for arsenic, lead, and mercury. The heavy metals did not just show up on one or two studies; several popular Gerber baby foods have consistently tested high in heavy metals. Most recently, Consumer Reports shared the results of its baby food testing and found that some Gerber foods tested at higher levels in 2023 than they did when Consumer Reports last tested the same products years ago. These toxic metals increase the risk of young children—infants in particular—developing autism and/or ADHD. We believe the baby food industry is not doing enough to combat this serious health issue, and we intend to hold them accountable in court for knowingly selling harmful foods to the most vulnerable segment of our population: young children.

Heavy Metals in Baby Food and Autism – What the Studies Say

Below are some of the studies that have found links between exposure to heavy metals and autism.

Arsenic and Autism

A 2019 meta-analysis by researchers at the University of Buffalo reviewed previously published research on the association between inorganic arsenic exposure in early life and the diagnosis of ASD. The analysis revealed consistent evidence supporting a positive connection between exposure to inorganic arsenic and the development of ASD. The authors emphasized the importance of reducing arsenic exposures in pregnant women and children.

Lead and Autism

A 2017 study published in Nature Communications found that prenatal and early childhood disruptions in multiple metals during critical developmental stages are tied to ASD. This finding highlights the potential role of elemental dysregulation in the development of ASD.

A 2016 study of Korean school-aged children identified a connection between lead exposure and autistic behaviors even at low levels of exposure. This underscores the need for ongoing efforts to reduce lead exposure.

Similarly, a 2015 study conducted in Egypt examined lead and other heavy metal levels in the bodies of children diagnosed with autism. The study found significantly higher levels of lead and other metals in the hair of children with autism compared to control subjects. The authors suggested that environmental exposure to these toxic heavy metals during crucial developmental periods may play a causal role in the onset of autism.

Mercury and Autism

In a 2017 longitudinal cohort study of Korean children, researchers measured mercury levels in the blood of children at ages 2 and 3. The study revealed elevated mercury levels in the blood of young children who were later diagnosed with ASD. This study supports the idea that toxic metals increase the risk of autistic behaviors in preschool children.

A study from 2018 conducted in China found significantly higher mercury and arsenic levels in the blood of children with ASD compared to healthy controls. This study, along with previous research, suggests the important role of heavy exposure, particularly to mercury, in the development of ASD.

A 2017 meta-analysis examined the relationship between mercury levels in different bodily samples, such as hair, urine, blood, red blood cells, and the brain, and ASD. The analysis concluded that mercury is a significant causal factor in the development of ASD, likely due to impaired detoxification and excretory mechanisms in individuals with ASD leading to mercury accumulation in the body.

A 2010 study indicated that mercury has a threshold effect of just over 15 µg/L, meaning that exposure to levels above this threshold increases the risk of ASD development in children.

Multiple Heavy Metals Can Have a Synergistic Effect

A 2016 study evaluated data from 4,486 children with ASD to assess the association between ambient lead, mercury, and arsenic concentrations and ASD prevalence. The results not only found a correlation between ambient lead concentrations and ASD prevalence but also suggested that exposure to multiple heavy metals may have synergistic effects on ASD prevalence.

These findings are particularly noteworthy because certain baby food products contain high levels of multiple heavy metals, putting children at an elevated risk of developing ASD. This highlights the urgency of addressing heavy metal exposure among infants and taking steps to minimize its impact on their health.

How Do You Qualify for the Baby Food Lawsuit?

If your child developed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after consuming foods from the following companies for a period of six months or more, you may be eligible to pursue compensation in a baby food lawsuit:

  • Happy Family Organics (Happy Baby)
  • Gerber
  • Earth’s Best Organic
  • Beech-Nut
  • Plum Organics
  • Parent’s Choice (Walmart)
  • Sprout Organic Foods

Wisner Baum baby food lawyers accept cases for children who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between 18 months and 10 years old. For ADHD, our attorneys represent children diagnosed with severe ADHD between the ages of 8 and 14 years old. The criteria for baby food cases may change at any time in accordance with the ongoing litigation. The easiest way to determine whether or not you have a case is to fill out our case evaluation form.

It is free, confidential, and takes just minutes to complete.

How Many Lawsuits Against Gerber and Other Baby Food Companies?

Our firm represents approximately 3,500 families in baby food claims. Other law firms are also involved in the litigation, so as of September 2023, there are many thousands of pending legal claims in California and other courts throughout the country. There are also ongoing baby food class action lawsuits, though our law firm is not involved in the class action litigation. All of our cases involve autism and ADHD.

For more information on the baby food class action litigation, see below.

Is This a Class Action?

No. Our cases are individual lawsuits for children who suffer from autism and ADHD as a result of consuming dangerous levels of toxic metals in baby foods. These cases may become part of a mass tort, but our firm is not involved in a baby food class action.

A mass tort groups together individual claims or lawsuits before the same court and judge to avoid duplicative discovery and ensure consistent application of laws and procedures. Because the cases are still individual lawsuits, the amount received will not necessarily be uniform among the plaintiffs with claims against the defendants. The amount of compensation is based on the individual damages in each case.

In class action lawsuits, everyone has the same or significantly similar injuries, so all participants (aside from class representatives) receive the same compensation at the end of the case.

We believe that mass torts offer the best opportunity for our clients to receive full and fair compensation. By grouping many cases before the same judge, costs are kept down, as any expert testimony, travel, and expenses incurred during discovery can be divided across the whole group. The compensation that families receive will more accurately reflect the level of harm of each individual child. Class action lawsuits serve a good purpose, but in the baby food litigation, individualized claims provide the best path to justice for our clients.

How Much Does it Cost to Join the Baby Food Lawsuit?

Joining the baby food lawsuit does not cost anything upfront. At Wisner Baum, we believe that our clients have the legal right to pursue justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered, regardless of their financial situation. We only make money if we are successful in getting you compensation.

How Much Can I Get From the Baby Food Lawsuit?

It is impossible to predict how much money you could receive from a successful baby food lawsuit. Each case has different damages associated with it, and the extent of a company’s wrongdoing is often not fully discovered until our attorneys get deeper into the litigation process.

Victims generally may be eligible to receive compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future lost income
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages
  • Other damages

How Long Will My Case Take to Resolve?

These cases can last years or be completed relatively quickly, depending on the whims of the companies involved. Mass tort lawsuits often last more than a year, but beyond that minimum estimate, the timelines for each case are impossible to predict. We will know more about the future of this litigation when a case goes before a jury, which our firm hopes to do in 2024.

While the outcome of a trial will not be binding on other claims, the case will be closely monitored to assess how juries respond to the evidence and expert testimony. If a trial culminates in a substantial verdict, it may influence baby food settlement offers from the defendant companies to avoid individual cases going before juries.

Don’t Wait, Hire a Baby Food Lawyer for Your Case

Wisner Baum is filing baby food lawsuits against Gerber, Hain Celestial, Walmart, Plum Organics, and others for knowingly selling products with dangerously high levels of arsenic, lead, and mercury. These metals are severe neurotoxins capable of contributing to lifelong brain damage and neurodevelopmental disorders in children.

We are in active litigation and hope to bring a baby food lawsuit to trial in early 2024. Outraged by the recklessness these companies continue to demonstrate by selling tainted foods, our attorneys intend to hold the defendants accountable in court.

If your child consumed baby foods from any of the brands listed above and developed autism or ADHD, you may be eligible to pursue compensation. Please do not wait to pursue a legal claim as your case is governed by a strict statute of limitations, which restricts the time available for individuals to file a lawsuit.

Call us today at 855-948-5098 for a free and confidential case evaluation.


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