Parents of poisoned babies continue to fight in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 July, 2010, 12:00am

Parents of four babies affected by tainted dairy products, left with no means to claim compensation on the mainland since the manufacturer at the centre of scandal went bankrupt last year, have taken their claim to a Hong Kong tribunal.

They sued Brands (China), a Hong Kong incorporated company that had a 43 per cent stake in now-bankrupt Sanlu Dairy Group which was found culpable for producing melamine-laced diary products.

Zhou Xiong, Li Jieli, Chen Lu and Ye Hongbo had asked Fonterra Brands (China) for HK$12,369 to HK$33,490 in compensation, accusing the company of delaying the release of information about the contamination for six weeks, failing in its responsibility to oversee Sanlu and making profits from tainted milk before the scandal was exposed. Their children suffer from kidney stones and other urinary problems and will require regular medical check-up.

However, their actions suffered a setback in May after the Small Claims Tribunal struck out their claims, saying the People's Court would be a better place to pursue their claims as the entire food-safety saga had taken place on the mainland.

Now the parents are pursuing an appeal to overturn the judgment. They are due to appear at the same tribunal on Friday to present evidence backing their appeal application.

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