Canada

Red Cross seeks bankruptcy protection

The Canadian Red Cross Society says it is not filing for bankruptcy. But it may seek protection from the courts in order to survive.

The Red Cross called a news conference in Ottawa Thursday evening, to respond to a newspaper report suggesting it would file for bankruptcy to stay alive.

The Globe and Mail reported that the Red Cross planed to file for bankruptcy protection under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act. That's a federal law that allows companies to continue operating while they try to recover financially.

The tainted-blood scandal has left the Red Cross facing more than $5 billion in liabilities from three class-action lawsuits.

About 1,000 hemophiliacs contracted the AIDS virus through blood or blood products collected or distributed by the agency and tens of thousands of Canadians became infected with hepatitis C through the blood system.