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Defective Georgia food product subject of wrongful death suit

The parents of an infant boy who died in 2011 say that the boy's death was due to a food thickener product that was produced in Georgia. The company that made the thickener, SimplyThick, is now being sued for wrongful death for failing to warn the public about the problem, which did not become public until a month after the boy died.

The boy was one of a pair of twins who were born in another state in January 2011. The babies were born prematurely and the victim had a problem swallowing. Doctors prescribed SimplyThick to help with the problem, and when the infant was discharged from the hospital, him parents were given packets of the thickener and told to continue feeding it to him.

The parents did as they were told. Within a short time, the infant became ill with severe diarrhea. By April 8, his condition was so grave that her parents rushed him to the emergency room. He passed away that same day.

The problem, according to the wrongful death suit, is that the SimplyThick carried the risk of causing necrotizing entercolitis, or NEC, a dangerous condition that causes intestinal tissue to become inflamed and die. In May 2011, about four weeks after the infant's death, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to parents not to feed SimplyThick to premature infants. Shortly after the FDA statement, SimplyThick announced a voluntary recall. The product had been manufactured at a plant in Stone Mountain.

The parents subsequently filed suit against SimplyThick, as well as the hospital that prescribed the thickener.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Lawsuit claims food thickener caused infant death," Amy Pavuk, Nov. 13, 2012

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