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Families Sue Xinfu Firms
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Survivors and family members of people who died after being treated with the defective antibiotic Xinfu filed a lawsuit with the Shanghai Pudong District People's Court yesterday against the companies behind the drug.

Judge Fu Hongqi said the court would decide whether or not to accept the case within a week.

Eleven people died and 421 others suffered from severe side-effects this summer after receiving injections of Xinfu. The State Food and Drug Administration ordered the drug's maker, Anhui Huayuan Worldbest Biology Pharmacy, to recall Xinfu after it was found that a batch had been improperly sterilized.

Chen Yongfei, a lawyer from the Beijing-based Liwen Law Firm, is representing 10 of the victims' families in the suit filed yesterday. "These families have suffered great pain as a result of their relatives' deaths," Chen.

Chen said the lawsuit seeks compensation from Anhui Huayuan Worldbest Biology Pharmacy, the drug's maker; Huayuan Group, the parent company; and Shanghai Huayuan Company, another Huayuan Group subsidiary.

The Huayuan Group is based in Shanghai's Pudong District. Representatives of the company were not available for comment yesterday.

Chen said the 10 families had asked for compensation ranging from 40,000 yuan (US$5,000) to 1.3 million yuan (US$162,500).

Speaking on behalf of the three companies, lawyer Li Hongqi said he estimated that each family would receive 50,000 yuan (US$ 6,250).

(China Daily December 6, 2006)

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