By Bruce Asemota
The High Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh, has yesterday commenced hearing in the civil case involving parents of nineteen victims who purportedly died from consumption of contaminated medicine. The suit is against Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Atlantic Pharmaceuticals Company Ltd, Medicine Control Agency, Ministry of Health and the Attorney General.
The plaintiffs are the personal representatives of the deceased children who are said to have died from consumption of promethazine Oral solution, Kolexmalin Baby cough syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cough Syrup manufactured in India, exported from India, imported to and sold in The Gambia which was found to be contaminated.
When the case came up yesterday, Lawyer Loubna Farage, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, told the court that they have applied to serve the 1st defendant, Maiden Pharmaceuticals which is outside the jurisdiction.
She further told the court that the 2nd defendant, Atlantic Pharmaceuticals have closed their office in Tabokoto and have been evading service of the writ of summons and the accompanying processes.
Farage moved an application on behalf of the parents of the victims and the court granted permission to serve the writ of summons and the accompanying processes on the 2nd defendant by substituted means, example by advertisement on a widely read newspaper or by pasting of the process at the last known address of the 2nd defendant at Tabokoto.
The trial Judge directed that the 1st defendant be served outside the jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, principal state counsel Binga D and his team of lawyers representing the health ministry informed the court that they are still studying the case file and that they are still within time line to file their defence.
The case was adjourned to 24 October.