In the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) civil lawsuit filed by victims’ families, the defendants failed to turn up for hearing.
When the case came up for hearing, Justice Ebrima Jaiteh called the name of the five defendants but none of them was in the court after they were dully informed about the trial date.
According to the writ of summons, the defendants are Maiden Pharmaceuticals LTD as the first defendant, Atlantic Pharmaceuticals Company LTD, as the 2nd defendant, Medicine Control Agency (MCA) as third defendant, Gambia’s Ministry of Health as fourth defendant, and the Attorney General as respondent as the fifth defendant.
More than 66 children died in 2022 after they were given an Indian-made cough syrup that ended up damaging their kidney. When the news broke out, it sparked concerns among Gambians. Gambian authorities decided to recall the incriminated cough syrup through a massive campaign.
Lawyer Loubna Farage told the court they have filed an affidavit in opposition to the motion filed by the defendants.
She then applied for government motion to be dismissed.
In his ruling, Justice Jaiteh acceded to lawyer Farage demands, and made it clear that the 90 days given to them have elapsed. He said the motion to extend the time given to the defendants cannot be extended.
“It lasted 3 good months,” he unequivocally stated while indicating that the motion was filed to delay the proceedings.
“They are absent today without any reason and the court will not allow this motion to serve as predicament,” he voiced out.
It could be recalled that 19 plaintiffs have endorsed the lawsuit filed against five defendants, including Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
“For the damage that Plaintiffs late children pain and suffering prior to the death on behalf of their estate under the law reforms (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1984 in the amount D 10.000.000 (Then million dalasi) per child,” the writ of summons reads.
Additionally, the court presided over by Justice Jaiteh passed an order for the writ of summons to be published via the news outlet Times of India as the 1st and 2nd defendants went into hiding to escape the “long arm of justice.”
The case was subsequently adjourned to November 7, 2023 for continuation.