Related News

Home » Nation

Court accepts first milk scandal lawsuit

A COURT in north China's Hebei Province has accepted the first compensation lawsuit filed by the family of a child who became sick after drinking tainted baby formula.

The Xinhua District Court in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, yesterday accepted a lawsuit filed by an unnamed parent from Beijing, according to Wang Wei, spokesman for the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People's Court.

Lawyer Peng Jian said his client is demanding compensation of 31,000 yuan (US$4,538) from Sanlu Group, a Shijiazhuang-based company that was at the center of an infant-formula scandal that involved the use of the industrial chemical melamine to mask inadequate protein levels in diluted milk.

Wang Zhengwen, a Xinhua District Court presiding judge, declined to give details on the case.

At least six infants died and almost 300,000 suffered kidney stones and urinary tract problems after consuming melamine-tainted formula.

In an open letter published in December, Sanlu and 21 other dairy companies offered 200,000 yuan each to families whose children died and 30,000 yuan for serious illnesses such as kidney stones and acute kidney failure. They also offered 2,000 yuan for victims in less severe cases.

As of January 22, about 90 percent of victims had been compensated. An updated figure was not available.

Peng is also representing parents of five other children who are pursuing lawsuits - two from Beijing, one from Henan, one from Inner Mongolia, and one from Shanxi.

The children, aged one to four, all consumed melamine-tainted baby formula produced by Sanlu.

The Henan victim, a one-year-old girl, died in June last year. Her parents are demanding 388,000 yuan in compensation.

The parents of a two-year-old victim from Beijing asked for 437,840 yuan. Their cases had not been accepted by the courts as of yesterday.

Beijing-based Sanyuan Group, the only major dairy producer not involved in the scandal, bid 616.5 million yuan to buy bankrupt Sanlu's core assets on March 4.

Another auction to dispose of Sanlu assets, mainly its shares in four dairy plants as well as 169 of its protected trademarks and 12 patent rights, will be held on April 7 in Shijiazhuang.

Two men were sentenced to death on January 22 for their roles in the scandal: Zhang Yujun, who produced 770 tons of melamine-laced "protein powder," and Geng Jinping, who sold more than 900 tons of tainted milk to Sanlu.

Tian Wenhua, former board chairwoman of Sanlu Group, was given a life prison term.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend