Court gives listeriosis claim green light

Court gives listeriosis claim green light.
Court gives listeriosis claim green light.
Image: 123RF/ Vitaliy Vodolazskyy

Listeriosis victims have inched closer to a multi-million rand class action suit against Tiger Brands.

Yesterday the high court in Johannesburg gave claimants a green light to sue the food producer.

Judge Phineas Mojapelo of the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg granted a certification order of listeriosis paving the way for a lawsuit relating to the outbreak in March.

The order is the court's determination that a class action is the best way to deal with listeriosis claims.

Tiger Brands, which has a market capitalisation of R50.9bn and posted a R2.4bn net profit for the year to September, said yesterday it had not set aside money to cover the looming claims.

"We have insurance appropriate for a company of our size in respect of product liability. Our insurers have confirmed that the policy will respond. However, as we have yet to receive an enumerated claim, we cannot determine the extent, if any, of any further exposure," said spokesperson Nevashnee Naicker.

Tiger Brands did not oppose the certification order.

The producer of Enterprise polony said its legal representatives had been working closely with attorneys for the claimants to agree to the terms of a court order for the certification. "We have committed to acting with honesty and integrity throughout this process and are therefore working closely with the attorneys for the claimants to expedite this matter," said Tiger Brands spokesperson Mary Jane Morifi.

"However, should liability be determined, the company will respond appropriately to any legitimate claims," it said on Monday.

Lawyer Richard Spoor, who is leading the class action, said claimants had a strong case against the company.

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