French families plan to sue retailers over baby milk recall
Some French families affected by a recall of baby milk by dairy firm Lactalis due to salmonella contamination plan to take legal action against supermarket chains, the head of a victims group said on Monday.
“It’s been confirmed to me that a certain number of families will file complaints in the coming days against the major supermarket chains,” Quentin Guillemain told reporters.
Families are already taking legal action against Lactalis, whose massive withdrawal of baby milk has seen recalled products still reach supermarket shelves.
Lactalis Chief Executive Emmanuel Besnier told the weekly Journal du Dimanche his family company, one of the world’s biggest dairies, would “pay damages to every family which has suffered a prejudice”.
Salmonella infections can be life-threatening and the families of three dozen children who have fallen sick in France as a result of the contaminated baby milk have announced a raft of lawsuits.
Besnier’s promise came two days after Lactalis widened a product recall to cover all infant formula made at its Craon plan, regardless of the manufacture date, in an bid to contain the fallout from a health scare that risks damaging France’s strategic agribusiness in overseas markets.
“Paying compensation is good, but money cannot buy everything,” government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said in an interview on BFM TV.
The health scare intensified last week after France’s biggest retailers including Carrefour, Auchan and Leclerc admitted products recalled in December had still found their way onto shelves.