The listeria class action litigation involving consumers and Tiger Brands has ground to halt, as both parties await documents from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in order to go to trial.
In an update to clients, class action litigant representatives Richard Spoor Inc Attorneys (RSI), together with LHL Attorneys, said their “long fight to achieve justice for the hundreds of persons affected by the listeriosis outbreak” continued.
The outbreak of listeriosis experienced in the country in 2018 was the largest outbreak of listeriosis ever reported worldwide at the time, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
The outbreak was declared in December that year, and out of 134 traced patients, 61 died, the WHO said.
However, in attending to pre-trial preparations, both parties subpoenaed documents from the NICD to get their matter trial ready, however, the documents were yet to be received.
RSI said: “The documents have not yet been received. We are engaging with the NICD in an attempt to speed up the process. The current delays are largely due to the delay in the NICD’s provision of various documents. We are engaging with the NICD and with the defendants to move towards trial.”
Several requests from the Cape Times this week for comment from the NICD were unsuccessful.
Tiger Brands said: “As part of the overall endeavour to expedite resolution of the matter, Tiger Brands’ legal team and plaintiffs’ attorneys reached agreement to jointly approach the NICD for access to their records, which are vital to a determination of the action. The release of this data remains critical to enable the resolution of the matter to be expedited.”
RSI said they continued collecting medical records and have to date received hundreds of medical records from hospitals around the country.
They also received around 200 signed and commissioned affidavits relating to consumption from class members.
“We are, however, still awaiting medical records and pathology test results from certain hospitals in respect of many claims and are constantly following up on these records. In order for the hospital to locate the medical records, they require the patient’s date of admission, date of discharge, and patient number.
If you have this information, a carrier card, or a discharge sheet, please provide same to us if you have not already done so,” RSI said.