A federal judge has appointed 26 lawyers to lead lawsuits alleging cow’s milk-based infant formulas have caused sicknesses and deaths in premature babies, including the first Black woman to serve as co-lead plaintiffs counsel in multidistrict litigation.

Thursday’s order from U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois named 16 men and 10 women to lead more than 60 lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories, maker of Similac, and Mead Johnson, which manufactures Enfamil, on behalf of premature infants who have suffered severe illnesses and deaths.