Preparations for a listeriosis-related class action against Tiger Brands have begun and attorneys representing those affected are so confident of success they will conduct the case pro bono.
Richard Spoor Incorporated Attorneys has a “sufficient number” of victims to pursue a class action case in order to hold Tiger Brands accountable for the outbreak, that affected hundreds of consumers and led to 180 deaths.
The law firm has teamed up with Marler Clark, a US food safety firm, and is confident it has strong evidence and experience to win a multimillion-rand case against Tiger Brands.
Human rights lawyer Richard Spoor said: “We have no intention of recovering the money from our clients.
“We will litigate on our own expense and recover the money from Tiger Brands.”
According to Spoor, a class action case allows for the victims to be represented by a strong team of advocates and one record file of evidence that will not only strengthen the case, but enable the firm to do “a better job”.
“The big advantage about class cases is that it will benefit everyone involved,” said Spoor. “This is especially true for people with smaller cases who are usually not given much attention because their cases are deemed much smaller in comparison to other cases dealing with deaths or diseases caused by the defendant.
“In this case, people with smaller cases benefit more because they get the opportunity to get their justice as well.”
The case could also assist people who are unable to afford the legal fees essential to pursue such a case. Spoor said his firm would have to apply and wait for the court to grant them with the relevant certification to pursue the case before they can issue an official notice for all victims to participate.
Although victims are encouraged to join the class action, Spoor says they were not obligated to join and were free to pursue their own cases.
Spoor said his firm was confident they would bring justice to the victims of the listeriosis outbreak and that their clients would not have to pay the firm’s legal fees from any money they might be awarded.