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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / $19.5M settlement resolves class claims of inaccurately labeled infant formula

$19.5M settlement resolves class claims of inaccurately labeled infant formula

A Phelps County judge gave final approval in the waning days of 2022 to a class-action settlement on claims that certain brands of infant formula were inaccurately labeled.

The lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories alleged that Similac and other brands made fewer 4-ounce bottles of formula than the label stated the product would yield. Abbott maintained that its labeling and marketing was truthful and accurate but said it agreed to settle the case to avoid further litigation.

The suit covers those who purchased Abbott infant formula products for personal use between June 24, 2016, and Sept. 22, 2022. Customers can recover $3 per unit, up to a maximum of $45 per household for those with proof of purchase and up to $15 per household for those without proof of purchase.

The company also agreed to make changes to its labels.

Judge John D. Beger gave preliminary approval to the settlement on Sept. 22 and final approval on Dec. 29. The agreement included $5.85 million in attorneys’ fees to attorneys with Steelman Gaunt Crowley in Rolla and several out-of-state firms, as well as $6,500 service awards for the three named plaintiffs.

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$19.5 million settlement

Product liability

Venue: Phelps County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 22PH-CV00853/Dec. 29, 2022

Judge: John Beger

Caption: Hannah Ramsey-Standage, Rita De Lao and Kara Rutenbar Hatmaker v. Abbott Laboratories

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: David Steelman and Bryce Crowley, Steelman Gaunt Crowley, Rolla; Scott A. Kamber, KamberLaw, Denver, Colorado; L. DeWayne Layfield, Law Office of L. DeWayne Layfield, Beaumont, Texas; Lydia Sturgis Zbrzeznj and Nicholas Zbrzeznj, Southern Atlantic Law Group, Winter Haven, Florida; Joel Oster, Law Offices of Howard W. Rubinstein, Singer Island, Florida

Defendant’s Attorneys: William J. Trach, Latham & Watkins, Boston; Robert Berry, Berry Silberberg Stokes, St. Louis