ON THE SPOT
GIULIETTA TALEVI: Tiger Brands’ class action lawyer says it is a slam dunk case
Suit will seek punitive damages against Tiger Brands, but it is a problem that the law doesn’t really place much value on the life of infants or old people
Tiger Brands may well spend the next decade in some form of litigation over the listeriosis disaster, in which 218 people died. The company has said it intends to defend itself against a class action suit, launched by the attorney who eventually got justice for the gold miners poisoned by silicosis, Richard Spoor. This is an excerpt of an interview he had with Business Day and the Financial Mail. Is this squaring up to be a humdinger fight? Particularly with Tiger Brands’ insurers? They play a very prominent role, they’re funding the litigation. We saw they’re going to pay the conventional damages and I assume that in terms of these insurance contracts, they will control the process. We’ve issued summons and incorporated in that summons is a claim for punitive damages. The punitive damages are interesting in two respects: one, it’s not usual, there’s not really provision in the law for it (although) we saw something about it in the Life Esidimeni matter when Dikgang Moseneke a...