Canadian Underwriter

Maple Leaf reaches Cdn$25-million class action settlement after listeriosis outbreak

December 19, 2008   by Canadian Underwriter

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Maple Leaf Foods has reached a Cdn$25-million settlement agreement in a class action following a listeriosis outbreak.
The settlement is designed to increase by up to Cdn$2 million to the extent that claims and costs exceed $25 million, according to Maple Leaf Foods.
The compensation paid from the settlement amount will be administered by the class counsel under the supervision of the court, a company release notes.
The settlement agreement, subject to court approvals in Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario, was reached with the principal counsel groups who launched class actions following a listeriosis outbreak in the summer of 2008.
The outbreak was linked to a limited number of products made at the company’s Bartor Road, Toronto facility, according to the release.
“Our goal throughout this legal process has been to negotiate a fair and early settlement so that we can obtain court approvals and promptly compensate families who were affected,” Michael H. McCain, president and CEO, said in the release. “This was a tragic experience and I want to acknowledge the cooperation of all the parties involved to ensure that people affected receive timely restitution.”
The class actions were launched on behalf of persons that consumed or purchased for consumption products that were subject to recall in August 2008 due to possible contamination from Listeria monocytogenes, the company said.
“Maple Leaf Foods and class counsel are of the opinion that the settlement of the class actions is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the class,” the release said. “The agreement is subject to court approval. The settlement amount is fully funded by Maple Leaf Foods’ liability insurers.”

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