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South African court close to certifying 'class action' listeriosis outbreak

Prominent South African trial attorney Richard Spoor is close to having a judge certifying as a class people who can sue Tiger Brands over the largest listeriosis outbreak in world history. Spoor credits Tiger Brands with agreeing to go along with the class action, when South Africa’s largest food company was within its rights to delay the process by years.

A class action allows a group of plaintiffs to proceed over individual classes. The listeriosis class action for the more than 1,000 victims and their survivors is expected to be certified within a few days, by Deputy Judge Phineas Mojapelo.

The outbreak, which also included 216 deaths, was traced to the Tiger Brands manufacturer at Polokwane, S-Africa. Among the deaths were almost 100 infants under 28 days old who were infected before birth. Health officials reported they had final outcome details on only part of the patients, but those numbers showed a mortality rate of 27 percent.

According to¸ South Africa’s high court in Johannesburg must certify the class before the case can proceed. America’s prominent food safety attorney, Bill Marler, is consulting with Spoor on the litigation.


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