Collette Parsons (law firm)

March 02, 2009 09:15 ET

“Proposed Maple Leaf Foods Settlement Inadequate”–Victim A. Laughren

“Proposed Maple Leaf Foods Settlement Inadequate” – Says Contaminated Food Victim, Arlene Laughren

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor VANCOUVER / BRITISH COLUMBIA / NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - March 2, 2009) - Arlene Laughren is the proposed representative plaintiff in a class action commenced in Vancouver against Maple Leaf foods by the law firm, Collette Parsons. Ms. Laughren suffered brain damage after consuming Maple Leaf food products contaminated by the Listeria bacteria during July 2008. The proposed class Ms. Laughren seeks to represent includes all British Columbia residents affected by Maple Leaf food products contaminated with the Listeria bacteria, as well as non-residents who were affected by the contaminated food and wish to opt in to the British Columbia class action.

Similar class actions were commenced across Canada including two other actions in British Columbia. A consortium of law firms acting in all of the class actions in Canada, excluding Ms Laughren's action, has tentatively negotiated a maximum $27 million settlement with Maple Leaf Foods. Between March 5, 2009 and March 20, 2009 approval of the maximum $27 million settlement is being sought in the courts of Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, by the consortium on behalf of all persons affected by the Maple Leaf Listeria outbreak. The application in Ontario seeks to include the claims of residents of Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. If approved in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, the settlement would dispose of the claims of everyone affected by contaminated Maple Leaf food products for $25 million with an additional $2 million to be contributed if the $25 million is not adequate to satisfy the claims of all the victims. If approved, Maple Leaf Foods will not have to contribute any further funds to pay for the injuries caused by the Listeria outbreak.

Today is the deadline for filing an objection to the proposed settlement application in Ontario and Ms. Laughren is filing an objection to the proposed settlement, and the inclusion of BC residents in the Ontario class action, because she is unaware of data supporting the contention that the proposed pool of money will be adequate to compensate all class members injured by the contaminated food.

"I am objecting to the settlement because no information has been provided to allow people injured by the contaminated food to determine whether the proposed settlement is large enough to compensate the thousands of victims affected across Canada," explained Ms. Laughren.

Ms. Laughren's lawyer, Guy Collette, stated, "The proposed settlement agreement provides that any damages paid by Maple Leaf Foods to claimants who opt out of the class action will reduce the proposed $27 million class action settlement by an equivalent amount. Therefore, individuals injured by Maple Leaf's contaminated products may only receive full compensation if they opt out of the proposed class settlement."

Contact Information

  • Guy Collette, Collette Parsons
    Primary Phone: 604-662-7777