Tate & Lyle
Carst and Walker

This is how much South Africa’s listeriosis victims may get, lawyers say

Tiger Brands could be expected to pay anything between R100,000 and R2-million to the families of the more than 200 people who died from listeriosis in South Africa, two of the country’s top legal experts believe.

On Dec 3, the South Gauteng High Court granted a certification order which allows a class-action lawsuit against Tiger brands to continue.

Tiger Brands’ Enterprise cold meat processing facility in Polokwane was identified in March as the source of listeria in South Africa.

At the time Tiger Brands CEO, Lawrence Mac Dougall, said the company will take steps to consider “valid” claims if a “tangible link” is found between its products and Listeriosis fatalities.

Ivan Herselman, director and head legal consultant at the corporate law firm Argumentum, believes the roughly 1,060 claimants might get payments of R2-million and above from Tiger Brands. He, however, said the eventual payouts will be subject to several variables.

Unlike the US, South Africans can’t sue for a wrongful death, but need to sue for the loss of a breadwinner, he said.

“Claimants will easily get R2-million plus from the lawsuit, but it really depends on the strength of the case,” Herselman told Business Insider South Africa.

“There are a lot of high profile lawyers involved in the case, and I doubt they’d spend their time on something if they weren’t sure of the result.”

At R2-million each, the total claim from victims and families would come to R2-billion.

Also read: How the deadly strain of listeriosis was traced to Tiger Brands’ Enterprise polony factory

One of the country’s top advocates, who have been involved in a number of high-profile lawsuits, told Business Insider South Africa in April that claimants who lost a breadwinner should get a minimum of R100,000 from Tiger Brands.

“The Esidimeni sage set a precedent of an R1.2-million payout to the families of each victim – but that was a constitutional matter,” the lawyer said at the time.

The lawyer, however, said pregnant mothers who lost babies can expect payments of roughly R1.5-million. “The loss of a child is an aggravating factor for possible lawsuits.”

At an average of R100,000 each, Tiger Brands would pay a total of R100 million if all 1,000 claimants were successful.

Zain Lundell from LHL lawyers, who is co-litigating the listeriosis class suit with Richard Spoor, said their next step will be to issue a summons in January for the formal legal processes to begin.

“We have no ball-park number we are claiming from Tiger Brands. It is impossible to say how much the claimants will receive at the end,” Lundell says.

Tiger Brands has said it is working together with the lawyers from the class suit and will share costs for a countrywide communications campaign for the lawsuit.

“Tiger Brands reiterates that no liability has been established against the company for the listeriosis outbreak, however, should liability be determined, the company will respond appropriately to any legitimate claims,” a statement by Tiger Brands read.

Argumentum’s Herselman said the lawsuit can take anything between three to five years for any payout to be finalised.

“And that is subject to no appeals,” he said. “The recent settlement between the ‘please call me’ inventor and Vodacom is a prime example of South Africa’s slow justice system works who received a payout after more than 10 years in court.”

Source: Business Insider SA

Spread the love

Tags: , ,


Latest Food Industry News!

  • Creating the first lab-grown human breastmilk?

    Creating the first lab-grown human breastmilk? US startup BIOMILQ has just announced it “may have created” lab-grown human breastmilk directly from isolated human mammary cells. This may spell the beginning of the end for infant formula, and a new beginning for much other lactation research.  Michelle Egger and Leila Strickland are the founders of BIOMILQ, and they’re on a mission to

  • Goodbye to Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips in SA

    Goodbye to Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips in SA PepsiCo/Simba has culled its Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips due to tepid sales, a decision that’s caused a stir among South African lovers of this establishment flavour. “At the end of 2019, Lay’s Salt and Vinegar flavoured potato chips were not performing as well from a sales perspective vis-à-vis the other flavours in our range –

  • Unilever to change policy on marketing products to children

    Unilever to change policy on marketing products to children Unilever has announced that it will stop the marketing and advertising of its products to children under the age of 12. The pledge forms part of new marketing principles that are designed to help parents and caregivers when choosing products for their children. The implementation will be led by Unilever’s ice cream business, with Wall’s

  • Baby food pouches: gateway to bad habits?

    Baby food pouches: gateway to bad habits? Pouches of puréed baby food can seem like a godsend to busy parents, but some experts say that babies and toddlers who use them too much can miss out on the developmental skills that will contribute to healthy eating habits. The popular pouches, introduced about a decade ago, now account for 25 percent of baby

  • Tiger Brands takes a hammering from bad news

    Tiger Brands takes a hammering from bad news This past Wednesday 12 February 2020, Tiger Brands had one of its worst days in years, with its shares finishing 6% lower on the JSE to R188 – the steepest fall since April 2011 – the day Noel Doyle presented the company’s financial results to shareholders for the first time as new CEO. New Tiger

  • Supermarkets under future threat from food delivery disruptors

    Supermarkets under future threat from food delivery disruptors Food delivery apps have are chiselling away at the restaurant industry’s market share, and upping levels of competition. The impact for supermarkets is less direct but no less a threat, as SA futurist, Jonathan Cherry, comments… A new body of research out of the UK suggests that four out of every five shoppers in the

  • Parmalat SA becomes Lactalis South Africa

    Parmalat SA becomes Lactalis South Africa Lactalis South Africa is the new name for Parmalat SA as of 1 February 2020. This is a name change only, and it will not impact the company’s existing products, brands or business operations. Parmalat SA has been been part of the international Lactalis family for the past nine years since the Lactalis Group bought

  • SA competition watchdog approves Pioneer/PepsiCo merger

    SA competition watchdog approves Pioneer/PepsiCo merger The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal give the green light to a R24bn deal that will see PepsiCo take over Pioneer Foods. The deal’s benefits are “significant”, the Commission said, while recommending that it be approved subject to conditions including job creation, local investment and a minimum R1.6-billion B-BBEE transaction. PepsiCo struck

  • SA plastics pact to tackle plastic waste and pollution

    SA plastics pact to tackle plastic waste and pollution Research shows that eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean every year… and while the statistics are overwhelming, initiatives like the newly launched and potentially game-changing South African Plastics Pact aim to tackle the problem head on by keeping plastics in the economy and out of the environment. Launched on 30 January 2020,

  • A new tomato ideal for urban gardens and even outer space

    A new tomato ideal for urban gardens and even outer space Farmers could soon be growing bunches of tomatoes in storage units, on the roof of a skyscraper, or even in space. That’s if a clutch of new gene-edited crops prove as fruitful as the first batch. The primary goal of this new research is to engineer a wider variety of crops that can be grown

Foodstuff SA

Stay informed!

Sign up for our regular newsletter, and
join over 7,000 subscribers who value this service.

Its FREE! Sign up now!

You have successfully subscribed to our mail list.

Too many subscribe attempts for this email address.

Food Stuff SA will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.