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HomeGambia NewsGAMBIA: IN COURT FAMILIES OF AKI VICTIMS SEEK JUSTICE AGAINST GAMBIA GOVERNMENT...

GAMBIA: IN COURT FAMILIES OF AKI VICTIMS SEEK JUSTICE AGAINST GAMBIA GOVERNMENT & 4 OTHERS

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The Families of the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) Victims appeared in court today to seek justice for their deceased children, who died as a result of a cough syrup made by Maiden Pharmaceutical Company. 

Loubna Farage, counsel for the families of the AKI Victims (Plaintiffs), announced herself as the lead counsel when the case was mentioned.

Counsel V. Andrews, Counsel Y. Senghore, Counsel A. Njie, Counsel F. Sanyang, Counsel A. Drammeh, and Counsel K. Jadama appeared for the plaintiffs, along with her.

Senior State Counsel Binga announced that he would be the lead counsel conditionally appearing for the Medicines Control Agency (MCA), the Ministry of Health, and the Attorney General, who were the 3rd, 4th, and 5th defendants in the case. Counsel S. L. Jobarteh and Counsel A. A. Gibba would also be appearing for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th defendants, alongside Counsel Binga.

Justice Jaiteh asked Senior State Counsel Binga why they were conditionally appearing for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th defendants. Binga said they were still studying the case to see if they should be a party. Counsel Farage for the plaintiffs disagreed, saying that this was not a valid reason to enter a conditional appearance.

“What I expected to hear is that they are still within the time to file their defence. If there is no call to action, my learned friend, knows what to do, but not to hold briefs for the state,” Counsel L. Farage told the court.  

Justice Jaiteh then informed the court that since the parties (defendants) are within the required time frame, they are urged to carefully study the suit and file their defence accordingly.  

Counsel L. Farage informed the court that they had filed an ex parte motion for substituted service on Atlantic Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the second defendant. Substituted service is a legal process in which the court allows the plaintiff to serve the defendant with legal documents by leaving them with an adult who lives at the defendant’s home or is in charge of the defendant’s place of business. (California Courts, Self Help Guide).

Counsel L. Farage informed the court that they had also filed an application to serve Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited (the first defendant) outside the jurisdiction. The motion for substituted service on Atlantic Pharmaceutical Company Limited (the second defendant) was granted. However, the application to serve Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited outside the jurisdiction would be heard in chambers.

An outbreak of cases of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) among children was detected in the Gambia on the 26th of July 2022. Diethylene glycol (DEG) and Ethylene glycol (EG) were detected in samples of medicines analysed in Ghana, France, and Switzerland and led to the withdrawal of many paediatric medicines from the market. The contaminated products were all manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceutical Company and have been withdrawn from the community and the market. 

The Ministry of Health confirmed that at least 70 children died in the Gambia as a result of the cough syrup from Maiden Pharmaceutical Company in India.  

19 families out of 70 of the AKI victims filed a lawsuit against Maiden Pharmaceutical Company Limited (1st defendant), Atlantic Pharmaceutical Company Limited (2nd defendant), Medicines Control Agency, the Gambia (3rd defendant), Ministry of Health (4th defendant), and the Attorney General (5th defendant).  

The 19 families of the AKI Victims are demanding 15 million Dalasis per child from the defendants for damages.  

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