Note: This English translation is unofficial. Only the original German text carries legal authority.

Grünenthalís man from the Family Affairs Ministry

Contergan Victims Representative: "Every second in office is an imposition"

Press release dated 29.05.2019

Gruenenthal_Man_from_the_Ministry_29_05_2019.pdf (58kB)

Additional materials for this press notice can be downloaded here:



Statement by the GRUENENTHAL GROUP (87kB)
on its appeal against the successful judgement in favour of the Spanish victims' organisation AVITE dated 20.12.2013


Draft resolution (9kB) on agenda item 7 for the 109th Council meeting of the Contergan Foundation in Berlin on 5.6.2019.



Please also read Section B of the open e-mail letter from Andreas Meyer to the Chairman of the Council of the Contergan Foundation, Christoph Linzbach (BMFSFJ), dated 30.4.2019.
Cologne (06/29/2019) Ė Germanyís Confederation of Contergan (Thalidomide) and Grünenthal Victims (BCG) accuses the Federal Family Affairs Ministry (BMFSFJ), which supervises the Contergan Foundation, of a collusion issue with Grünenthal. For many years, Dieter Hackler, a former senior Ministry official whom the Foundationís Council elected as Board Chairman on 5 December 2018, assisted Grünenthalís own Foundation for thalidomide victims.

In 2018, the Cologne Higher Regional Court found ongoing links between Grünenthal and the Contergan Foundation over 30 years. Now it emerges that, after retiring from the Ministry in 2014, Hackler was invited by Grünenthalís shareholder and ex-CEO Michael Wirtz to join the Grünenthal Foundationís Council.

The victimsí representatives on the Contergan Foundationís Council knew nothing of this when Hackler was appointed. Council Chairman Christoph Linzbach (BMFSFJ) concealed it. For the victims it is scandalous that the Ministry appointed a person chosen by Wirtz to head the Contergan Foundation. "Why doesnít the Ministry simply appoint Michael Wirtz?" said victims' representative and Council member Andreas Meyer. "Every second of this man in office is an imposition."

From 2008 to 2014, Hackler chaired the Contergan Foundationís Council, its decision-making and controlling body. Simultaneously, from 2006 to 2014, he headed the Ministryís department for "Elderly People". From 1991 to 2006, he headed the Federal Office for Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions, subordinate to the Ministry.

Leading up to the Contergan Foundationís Council meeting in Berlin on 5 June, the BCG fears that a decision will be imposed against the minority of victimsí representatives that will permit the Foundation to accept Grünenthal funds for procedures directly connected with the company. "The Federal Family Affairs Ministry will now degrade Contergan victims to recipients of Grünenthalís charity," commented Meyer.

In 2013, in a statement on the compensation process, Grünenthal referred victims from Spain to the Grünenthal Foundation and the German Contergan Foundation, says Meyer. "Grünenthal is thus transformed from offender to benefactor!" It is cheaper to pay for electric toothbrushes and hearing aids through the Grünenthal Foundation than to settle the millions in threatened damages claims.


109th Council Meeting, Contergan Foundation:

5 June 2019,

11 a.m.

dbb forum berlin,

Friedrichstraße 169, 10117 Berlin



Registration: +49(0)221/3673-3312.


Andreas Meyer will attend the meeting.


http://www.gruenenthal-opfer.de/PM_Gruenenthal_Mann_ad_BMFSFJ_29_05_2019



Contact:

BCG - Bund Contergangeschädigter und Grünenthalopfer e.V.
c/o Andreas Meyer (Chairman)
E-Mail: bcg-brd-dachverband@gmx.de
http://www.gruenenthal-opfer.de
Mobile: 0172/2905974



Please refer details of the legal and socio-political significance of the lawsuit.

Please refer our press release dated 5.9.2016 about the filing of the lawsuit.

Please refer our press release dated 13.2.2017 about the court proceedings.

Please refer our press release dated 9.3.2017 about the continuation of the proceedings with no out-of-court settlement.

Please refer our press release dated 08.06.2016 about the not yet final judgement of bonn regional court on 10.5.2017.

Please refer our press release dated 26.09.2017 about our petition for a nation wide anti-corruption law.

Please refer our Invitation dated 19.01.2018 to the court hearing at the Cologne Higher Regional Court on 15.2.2018.

Please refer our press release dated 4.6.2018 Gruenenthal Cartel against Contergan victims.

Please refer our draft resolution to extend the audit mandate of the law firm GSK Stockmann & Kollegen dated 9.11.2018.

Please also read Section B of the open e-mail letter from Andreas Meyer to the Chairman of the Council of the Contergan Foundation, Christoph Linzbach (BMFSFJ), dated 30.4.2019.

Please refer our press release dated 29.05.2019 Gruenenthal's man from the Family Affairs Ministry.

Note: This English translation is unofficial. Only the original German text carries legal authority.



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