Maple Leaf settles class action listeriosis lawsuits for $27M
Last Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2008 | 2:42 PM ET
Maple Leaf Foods has agreed to pay up to $27 million to settle class action lawsuits over the deadly listeriosis outbreak linked to 20 deaths across the country.
The agreement states that Maple Leaf Foods will pay between $25 million and $27 million, subject to court approval in Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario.
The amount of each individual settlement will depend upon the severity of a claimant's illness, according to a document released Thursday by lawyers representing the claimants.
The estate of someone who died from listeriosis would receive $120,000, along with $35,000 for the spouse, $30,000 to children, $20,000 to the parents, $5,000 for siblings and grandchildren and funeral expenses up to $13,500.
Those who suffered for two weeks to one month will receive $8,000 plus $750 per day for hospitalization.
Those who consumed tainted meat and sustained "psychological injuries or trauma" lasting up to 60 days will receive $4,000.
People who suffered physical symptoms that lasted 24 to 48 hours will receive $750.
"Our clients are delighted with the result. We are working towards obtaining court approval and ensuring that the class members are paid immediately," said Ted Charney, a lawyer for the class action suit, said in a news release.
The outbreak was traced to a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto. All 220 meat products produced at the facility were recalled and the plant was shut down while company and health officials tried to determine the source of the contamination.
Maple Leaf CEO Michael McCain has said two slicing machines are believed to be the most likely source of the listeria bacteria. McCain had apologized for the outbreak and said his company would take full responsibility.With files from the Canadian Press