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Posts Tagged ‘chinese group action’

ConsumerAffairs.com issued this report Tuesday about a “class action” lawsuit being considered in China against an American manufacturer for importing allegedly contaminated shampoo products into that country. 

Recent attempts by Chinese litigants to seek a collective civil remedy in the Chinese courts against government-controlled Chinese companies for manufacturing allegedly tainted baby formula have met with serious government resistance (see various previous CAB entries summarized here).  It will be interesting to see how a collective products liability lawsuit against an American company will fare by comparison.

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A February 12 article by Dune Lawrence on Bloomberg.com offers several keen insights into the legal and political challenges  facing a group of victims seeking collective relief in the Chinese courts for injuries caused by melamine-tainted milk last year.  The article quotes a Chinese lawyer whose thoughts echo those made in previous commentaries about the impact of the government’s preference for “admistrative” action over private remedies (see previous CAB entries dated January 21, 2009, November 9, 2008, and October 1, 2008),

China’s government prefers to take administrative action rather than let courts handle politically sensitive cases, according to Ed Lehman, the founder of Chinese law firm Lehman Lee & Xu. . . .  After the government organized compensation and sentenced two dairy company executives to death over the matter, “they think they’ve done what needs to be done,” he says.

The article notes, that despite the Chinese government’s reluctance to allow private remedies through collective action, Chinese law does allow for group lawsuits and there have been cases in which successful group actions have resulted in monetary recoveries.  So far, though, efforts to obtain a private remedy with the China’s Supreme People’s Court in the tainted milk case have met with silence.

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