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Published: Thursday December 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday December 19, 2013 MYT 7:33:05 AM

Bread manufacturer loses defamation suit

SHAH ALAM: A bread manufacturer has lost its defamation suit against a consumer who claimed he found a dead lizard in a loaf he bought in March.

Sessions Court judge Sabariah Othman ruled that Gardenia Bakeries (KL) Sdn Bhd had failed to prove the elements of defamation in the suit against human resources trainer Lau Kian Eng.

On March 28, at a press conference called by Klang MP Charles Santiago, Lau gave statements regarding the dead lizard he found in a bread packaging.

On Aug 6, Gardenia Bakeries sued Lau, claiming he had defamed the company in articles published in five Chinese language newspapers.

The company, which sells a variety of bread products under the Gardenia brand, claimed words and photographs published in the articles implied it had produced and sold unclean and unhygienic products to the public.

It had sought aggravated and exemplary damages and an injunction to prevent Lau or his agents from repeating the alleged defamatory words and photos.

Lau, in his defence, contended he never mentioned the brand name and that the photos of the packaging were blurred.

“The court finds the photos used in the articles did not refer to the plaintiff (Gardenia Bakeries),” said Sabariah, dismissing the suit with costs to be specified later.

She said there was no concrete or conclusive evidence of defamation in the case.

Lau, 42, who was absent from the proceeding, was represented by lawyers Sreekant Pillai and Nicholas Netto.

In an immediate statement, Gardenia Bakeries said it was disappointed but respected the court’s decision.

“While the unpleasant experience by Lau and his family is most unfortunate, Gardenia is confident of the hygiene and product safety measures in place at our facilities,” it said.

The company did not state if it will appeal against the decision.

Tags / Keywords: Health, Courts & Crime, gardenia, bread, lizard, defamation suit, lau kian eng

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