Tiger Brands have not yet decided on whether they will be opposing the looming class action lawsuits against them, but will oppose the fact that two separate applications have been filed against them simultaneously.
Two law firms, Richard Spoor Attorneys and LHL Attorneys, filed separate class actions against Tiger Brands to the High Court in Johannesburg for certification to provide monetary compensation to the hundreds of victims and families who claim to have been affected by listeriosis, which was traced to the Enterprise Foods plants in Polokwane and Germiston.
Enterprise Foods is a subsidiary of Tiger Brands.
Tiger Brands spokesperson Nevashnee Naicker said: “We are opposing the fact that two class actions were brought against us at the same time. Procedurally, and from a law perspective, it is not possible to have two class actions, that are issued at the same time and competing against one another, so we are opposing it.”
She said the company needs to wait for the court to decide what the best option is, and that the company has reserved its right to respond to the applications laid against them.
“We need [the courts] to decide which of the [two] class actions should go ahead, or whether a hybrid of the two class actions need to go ahead. Because as a company, or any company for that matter, [we] will not be able to face two class actions concurrently,” she said.
Naicker said the matter is a “legal administrative process” with timelines, and confirmed that the class actions have not been started yet as they await the court’s decision.