Beijing — The companies whose tainted milk products sickened nearly 300,000 children and were blamed in the deaths of six will likely pay $160 million in compensation to victims’ families, a state-run newspaper said today.
Details of the compensation plan came shortly after trials began for 17 people on charges related to the production and sale of melamine, an industrial chemical added to milk to falsely boost protein readings in quality tests.
According to the China Daily, the 22 companies blamed in the scandal will make a one-time $131 million cash payment to victims.
The remaining $29 million would cover bills for lingering health problems, the paper said, citing an unnamed source from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.
Details in the report roughly correspond to figures provided this month by lawyers seeking to sue the companies involved, who said that most children who suffered kidney stones would get $290, while sicker children would be paid $4,380.
Families of children who died will each get $29,000, China Daily said.
At least six babies died and 294,000 other children suffered kidney and urinary problems from drinking the baby formula made from the contaminated milk.