SA lawyers plan class action for listeria victims against South African food producer Tiger Brands. A human rights lawyer said Sunday that he teamed up with U.S. lawyer Marler and the food safety law firm of Marler Clark to sue the owner of the factory named as the source on behalf of the families of people who died and those affected by the listeria outbreak.
The listeria epidemic has killed 180 people and more than 950 in South Africa have contracted listeriosis, since January last year. On Thursday, South Africa‘s health minister said that the government would support the affected families aiming court action over the outbreak.
According to the health officials, the sources of the outbreak were two major producers: Enterprise Food products and Rainbow Chicken. Enterprise Food which is committed to food safety and owned by Tiger Brands, 300km northeast of the South African capital Pretoria.
Tiger Brands said on Friday it had received documentation of the presence of the outbreak strain, LST6, at its factory in the northern city of Polokwane plant from the government.
Brands Chief Executive of the Tiger Brands, Lawrence McDougal said on Monday that their processed cold meat products’ are not responsible for the deaths.
“In the United States we would not use a class action because the varieties of damages are so different for all of these people,” Marler said. “There are differences between people who are sick for a week and those who died or have long-term complications. But here you can do that all in one class action,” he added.