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Bereaved parents compensated by Sanlu
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10:42, January 17, 2009

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LANZHOU: The parents of the first child to die after drinking chemically-tainted milk food produced by Sanlu Group Co have been paid by the dairy firm.

Yi Yongsheng and Jiao Hongfang, villagers in Gangu county of Gansu province, said on Friday that they received 200,000 yuan ($29,000) from the company on Wednesday.

Their 5-month-old son died on May 1, 2008 after suffering from kidney failure caused by the contaminated milk. He was believed to be the first child to die after drinking formula containing the industrial chemical, melamine.

By accepting the money from Sanlu, Yi and Jiao gave up their rights to sue the company.

Shen Xianlei, one of their lawyers, said the couple was unlikely to get more than 200,000 yuan by taking their case to court in Gansu.

Dong Junming, another lawyer working for the couple, said: "Legal procedures are too complicated for them, which made them decide to take the money."

The payout was part of a standardized scheme of payments announced last month by China's dairy association and the 22 dairy companies involved.

Under the plan announced, families whose children died would receive 200,000 yuan, while others would receive 30,000 yuan for serious cases of kidney stones and 2,000 yuan for less severe cases. Another 200 million yuan would go to a fund to cover bills for lingering health problems.

More than 3,000 families in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, where Sanlu is based, have accepted the compensation package, according to the local government. It was unclear what level of compensation they were given.

As of last month, 861 children were still in the hospital suffering from kidney stones or urinary problems.

Source:China Daily/Xinhua - Agencies

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