The law firm at the helm of a class action suit against Tiger Brands, Richard Spoor Inc (RSI), has slammed the company’s application to compel the release of epidemiological information as evidence as a bid at ‘buying time’ and delaying the class action.

News24 notes that last year, the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) determined that Richard Spoor Attorneys could go ahead with a class action application representing over a thousand people affected by the listeriosis outbreak in 2017 and 2018 that claimed over 200 lives.

The Department of Health linked it to a meat processing facility of Enterprise Foods, a subsidiary of Tiger Brands.

Last week, the court compelled the third parties to provide critical epidemiological information required for the class action, within one month.

‘The effect of the ruling is to provide access to information relevant to the proceedings and enable the parties on both sides of the class action to move matters forward. The third parties may apply for leave to appeal against the order,’ the company said in a shareholder notice last week.

Spokesperson for RSI, Catherine Marcus, said it was the view of the firm, throughout these proceedings, that Tiger Brands was engaging in a ‘fishing expedition’, and that the application was an exercise in trying to create a delay to the overall case. 

‘We do not believe that anything will come of the subpoenaed documents that will change our position that Tiger Brands is liable for the harm caused by the 2016-2018 listeriosis outbreak.’

Full News24 report