Class action suit over bad deli meat

Aug. 26, 2008 at 2:21 PM

OTTAWA, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The maker of packaged deli meats that have been linked to 12 deaths in Canada has been named in a class action lawsuit in Ottawa.

Maple Leaf Foods was named in the suit filed Monday by the Merchant Law Group in Regina, Saskatchewan, the Canwest News Service reported. Attorney Tony Merchant told the news agency more than 300 people had registered as members of the class.

"The vast majority ... are very sick or have been very sick," he said.

He said it was too early to put a value on the lawsuit.

"I don't know whether I view this claim to be $200 million or $1.5 billion, but I know it's a very significant amount of money," he told Canwest.

The report said a spokesman for Maple Leaf refused to comment.

Earlier this month, the listeria bacterium was found in some products, which were recalled. During the weekend, the company recalled all of its products.

Officials said 29 more cases of listeriosis have been identified in Canada and are being investigated to see if they match the strain packaged in Maple Leaf's Toronto facility, the report said.

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