The Johannesburg High Court has given the go-ahead for a class action lawsuit linked with the listeriosis outbreak in South Africa earlier this year.
Several firms represented by Richard Spoor Attorneys launched the application against Tiger Brands, the company fingered in the food contamination scandal.
The Tiger Brands factory in Polokwane was identified as the source of the outbreak that led to the deaths of 189 people.
The class action suit currently covers more than 1 000 people affected by the outbreak who intend to sue for damages, explains attorney Richard Spoor.
Spoor says the hundreds of victims will be entitled to proceed as one against Tiger Brands in a single matter.
He says the victims mainly comprise of pregnant women, elderly and young children.
He believes the class action lawsuit is likely to achieve a good outcome for the victims much quicker and much more effectively.
Spoor says his clients want compensation in accordance with their injuries and Constitutional damages ordered against Tiger Brands.
200 small children died and nearly 200 pregnant women had miscarriages as a result of the outbreak.
According to Spoor, a court judgement can be expected within the next 18 months. This is if the matter is not settled out of court by Tiger Brands before then.
We're very happy. It's taken us about six or seven months but we are here.— Richard Spoor, Chief Executive Officer at Richard Spoor Inc
We are ready to go on.— Richard Spoor, Chief Executive Officer at Richard Spoor Inc
It also means we will have a case-managed process and there will be a judge in charge who will be driving it, setting deadlines and ensuring compliance from the parties.— Richard Spoor, Chief Executive Officer at Richard Spoor Inc
We had 200 deaths mainly of small children and close to 200 miscarriages and a large number of people who got sick.— Richard Spoor, Chief Executive Officer at Richard Spoor Inc
We're looking for the court to make a punitive order of damages against Tiger Brands based on their gross conduct... We're hopeful that the court would agree with us.— Richard Spoor, Chief Executive Officer at Richard Spoor Inc
Listen to the explanation on The Xolani Gwala Show: