Bakeries want payback for rat bread

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Bakeries want payback for rat bread

Seven Paris Baguette franchises filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking compensation from a man who posted a picture of a loaf of bread with a dead rat inside on the Internet and claimed it came from Paris Baguette.

The owners are demanding 15 million won ($13,461) each for damages they say they suffered after the 35-year-old man surnamed Kim posted the picture on Dec. 23. The owners say Paris Baguette’s 2,600 franchises nationwide were seriously affected by the fraud.

“Since this affair, the branding of Paris Baguette has been hugely damaged and sales have also rapidly fallen,” said the petition. “Kim should take responsibility for the illegal act and pay compensation fees.”

Kim admitted to police on Dec. 30 that he deliberately put the dead rat in the loaf of bread and claimed it was purchased at a Paris Baguette near his own bakery, in hopes that the bad publicity would bring customers to his own bakery franchise, Tous Les Jours in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi.

The Paris Baguette owners, including the one who runs a shop near Kim’s store, submitted their petition to Seoul Central District Court yesterday.

“Given the evidence police found and the admission Kim made to police,” the petition said, “it is clear that Kim damaged the value and reputation of owners of bakeries.” Kim has been charged with violating telecommunication laws.

By Kim Hee-jin []

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