Client Update: 29 October 2021
LISTERIOSIS CLASS ACTION CLASS MEMBER UPDATE
Greetings to all our clients,
We trust this update finds you well and safe.
We want to that thank you for your patience and co-operation thus far. As you are aware, the litigation process in South Africa for even simple of matters is a long one. Matters of this nature and complexity do take considerable time. We assure you that as the class attorneys we are devoted to bringing you and your family justice by obtaining the best possible outcome in this class action. We cannot achieve this without your assistance and thank you for taking our calls and providing us with the documents that we request.
As we progress in the litigation process, our team expand. We are in the process of working with actuarial scientists and other qualified experts to move the matter forward on the damages process. These professionals have provided us with lists of further information that they will require and our team will be in contact with you in order to obtain this necessary information.
On 5 November 2021, the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”), the second highest Court in South Africa, will hear the appeal of Judge Colin Lamont’s June 2020 judgment, which dealt with the setting aside and compelling of certain aspects of the subpoenas that Tiger Brands issued to the National Health Laboratory Service (the governmental body that oversees the NICD’s functioning), various commercial laboratories that process L. monocytogenes (L- mono) testing, and various meat vendors involved in the manufacture and production of meat products across the industry in South Africa. The subpoenas seek information related to the presence of L. monocytogenes in facilities and products over the class period (from October 2016 – September 2018). The class attorneys believe that this information is sought to challenge the NICD’s finding that Tiger Brands was the sole source of the ST6 outbreak.
In his judgment, Judge Lamont expressed that the documents sought by Tiger Brands are “relevant to establish what the facts were, which facts are correct, and which facts are relevant”. The Court held Tiger Brands has the right to some of the documentation that it subpoenaed each party for, and the subpoenas must be substantially complied with. However, the majority of the subpoenaed parties appealed this order. The SCA will hear the appeal next week. It may be some months before a judgment is forthcoming. We undertake to update clients as soon as there is a development in this matter.
These applications and appeals are interlocutory proceedings to the main class action trial. These matters must be dealt with before the main trial is able to proceed. Unfortunately, these interlocutory proceedings have caused significant delays in the matter. We understand and sympathise with the confusion and frustration that you experience as a result of these delays. We assure you that we are working hard to move the matter forward as swiftly as we are able to within the ambit of the law. Our team continues to prepare for the trial, which we are hopeful will commence in the first half of 2022. The outcome of the SCA hearing on 5 November 2021 will largely determine how the trial will proceed.
Class Member Participation
We once again thank you for your assistance thus far in providing us with the important documentation and information necessary to build and proceed with the class action. The following documentation and information are essential to the case moving forward:
1. Information regarding medical care:
Please ensure that you have provided our team with the name of the hospital or clinic that you visited over the class period, as well as your admission dates and patient number if possible and relevant. We understand that this was some time ago, however, in many cases, we are only able to request medical records from health establishments when we are in possession of this information. Without proper medical records, it will be difficult to prove a claim.
2. Consumption affidavits:
If you have not yet received a consumption affidavit for signature, please contact our offices to enable us to arrange for these documents to be sent to you. If you are in receipt of a consumption affidavit, but have not yet signed and commissioned the affidavit, kindly have the affidavit signed and commissioned and returned to our offices as soon as possible. If you have any queries about the content of your affidavits please do get in touch with us and our team will gladly provide you with clarity.
3. Loss of income or earning capacity:
Depending on the severity of your listeriosis infection, you may have a claim for loss of income or earning capacity. We need the following documentation to enable us to calculate the claim and kindly request that you forward this documentation to our offices, if you have not yet done so.
3.1 An indication of what your job or profession was before you or your loved one got ill with listeriosis. If you have changed jobs since then please let us know what your job or profession is now.
3.2 Documentation showing proof of income. These may be salary/pay slips, bank statements, an affidavit confirming your income, or any other proof you may have confirming your income.
3.3 Records of your employment history as far back as possible. Your employer may help you in obtaining this. Should you need us to send them a letter please let us know.
3.4 Copies of any qualifications you may have obtained in your life, including matric certificate, school reports, and any other training you may have completed.
3.5 If you are claiming on behalf of a child, copies of qualifications obtained by the child’s parents and siblings.
3.6 If you are claiming on behalf of another adult, copies of both the injured and your own documentation as listed above.
4. Narrative interviews:
Narrative interviews are conducted by our paralegals with the purpose of telling the story of your listeriosis illness as clearly and as accurately as possible. Narratives must be completed for every one of our clients. The more information that you are able to provide to us, the more comprehensive a narrative we will be able to draft. We are able to conduct these interview once we have received your medical records.
If you have not yet consulted with one of our attorneys or paralegals for an interview, kindly contact our offices to arrange for a consultation at your convenience. Please note that we will not be able to proceed with your claim, until we have consulted with you and obtained the history of your illness.
5. You may contact our offices via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively by ‘WhatsApp’, or by sending a ‘please call me’ to 082 044 0875. We will return your call as soon as possible. Please note you may receive a call from a number beginning with “010”. This is our Johannesburg office’s telephone number.
6. As stated above, our main aim and focus of the class attorneys is to speed up the process as far as possible and obtain justice for you and your loved ones This is only possible with your continued support and co-operation.
7. Kindly contact our offices on 0114826081 if you have changed any contact details or address, so that we may update our files accordingly.
8. Should you have any other queries regarding your matter or require clarity on anything mentioned in this update, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We wish you continued safety and good health.
RSI and LHL, Class Attorneys