October 20, 2023

The suit named Abbott as well as the company's CEO Robert B. Ford, members of its board of directors, and executive level leaders of the company.

A 181-page amended shareholder derivative lawsuit has been filed in federal court against Abbott Laboratories by court-appointed lead plaintiffs after the company closed a Michigan infant formula manufacturing facility due to FDA concerns over contamination.

On Feb. 15, 2022, Abbott closed its Sturgis, Michigan, plant, and two days later, issued a voluntary recall of contaminated infant formula products. The shutdown and recall were the results of FDA inspections that found multiple regulatory violations and the deaths of several infants who consumed tainted baby formula, according to the opinion.

The suit, In re Abbott Laboratories Infant Formula Shareholder Derivative Litigation, was filed on Oct. 16, 2023, by court-appointed lead counsel Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and Scott & Scott in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local No. 710 Pension Fund (Teamsters Local No. 710 Pension Fund) and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

The suit named Abbott as well as the company’s CEO Robert B. Ford, members of its board of directors, and executive level leaders of the company.

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The lead plaintiffs were represented in the matter by Carol V. Gilden, a partner at Cohen Milstein’s securities and investor protection group, and Geoffrey M. Johnson of Scott & Scott.

“Abbott’s Board breached its duty to the company to oversee mission-critical risks in connection with the highly regulated manufacturing and sale of infant formula,” said Gilden, in a written statement to Law.com. “The result was tragic for our nation’s families, resulting in a nationwide formula shortage and the deaths of multiple infants allegedly due to consuming Abbott’s tainted baby formula, and it has been catastrophic for Abbott’s business, leading to a DOJ consent decree and billions of dollars in damages.”

“Cohen Milstein and Scott & Scott are proud to represent shareholders as lead counsel in this important shareholder derivative lawsuit to hold Abbott’s board of directors accountable,” said Gilden.

Also appearing for the plaintiff are Richard Speirs, Amy Miller, Steven J. Toll and Molly Bowen of Cohen Milstein; Jing-Li Yu, Tyler C. Yagman, and Joseph A. Pettigrew of Scott & Scott; and John A. Kehoe of the Kehoe Law Firm.

Read Shareholder Suit Filed Against Abbott Laboratories Over Nationwide Baby Formula Shortage. (Subscription required.)