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Silo cops a Slater and Gordon class action

johnboy 25 January 2012 33

The Canberra Times brings word that, on top of terrible publicity following their salmonella outbreak, Silo bakery is being hit by a class action:

Slater and Gordon associate Jonathon May said his firm was acting for 10 people, ”with a few pending enquiries” to the firm.

”We allege that the Silo Bakery was negligent in the way it prepared and stored its food,” Mr May said.

”We allege this resulted in a number of cases of food poisoning which has had a severe impact on all our clients.

”The nature and severity of the injuries vary from client to client, but in general include severe nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, muscular pain, headaches and other complaints. Up to five of our clients were hospitalised.”

It is understood Silo Bakery has engaged its own solicitors, although proceedings have not started.

I’m curious as to what insurance they could have which would cover this distressing turn of events?


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33 Responses to Silo cops a Slater and Gordon class action
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devils_advocate devils_advocate 3:58 pm 25 Jan 12

Peptis said :

You are assuming that Silo has actually done something wrong. It is possible that all the food was handled correctly at Silo and that it was their supplier that supplied them with “bad” food. In that case Silo would have no way of knowing that the eggs or chickens were dangerous.

I’m assuming nothing. Note my emphasis on the word IF in my original post. Above, I acknowledged the issue of the raw eggs. Sure, Silo might have a right of action against the egg supplier. But the consumers have a right of action against Silo (at contract – and at negligence, against the manufacturer, within the Donohue v Stephenson doctrine).

In any case, public liability doesn’t get anyone off the hook anyway. The insurance company can (and arguably will) go looking for someone to blame, assuming it is liable. Also in food poisoning cases, it can be hard to prove that the poisoning originated from the defendant especially if one person, but in the present case if there’s 10 people all coming down with a case of the same poisoning who ate at the same place on the same day (and possibly at the same menu item) then that probably gets them across the line on the ‘balance of probabilities’ test.

Jethro Jethro 3:41 pm 25 Jan 12

KB1971 said :

Public liability should cover it.

Really though, while salmonella poisoning is shite, was anybody harmed from this event?

All this will do is close the business down & for what?

To encourage other food businesses to ensure they aren’t negligent when it comes to food safety procedures?

Peptis Peptis 3:40 pm 25 Jan 12

devils_advocate said :

KB1971 said :

All this will do is close the business down & for what?

The business may learn from its mistake and be more careful in the future. If it does, it may go on to be successful.

As a consumer I would be wary, regardless of the court outcome. When I hand my money over for food, I certainly expect it to be safe to eat.

If the business can’t give a credible offer of safety (and I say IF), then it should be removed from the market one way or another.

You are assuming that Silo has actually done something wrong. It is possible that all the food was handled correctly at Silo and that it was their supplier that supplied them with “bad” food. In that case Silo would have no way of knowing that the eggs or chickens were dangerous.

KB1971 KB1971 3:39 pm 25 Jan 12

devils_advocate said :

KB1971 said :

All this will do is close the business down & for what?

The business may learn from its mistake and be more careful in the future. If it does, it may go on to be successful.

As a consumer I would be wary, regardless of the court outcome. When I hand my money over for food, I certainly expect it to be safe to eat.

If the business can’t give a credible offer of safety (and I say IF), then it should be removed from the market one way or another.

So the smack on the arse from the authorities & the exposure in the media is not enough?

Its just a money grab.

cbjcurtin cbjcurtin 3:07 pm 25 Jan 12

Im pretty sure they ahve to have public liability for their lease.

devils_advocate devils_advocate 2:57 pm 25 Jan 12

KB1971 said :

All this will do is close the business down & for what?

The business may learn from its mistake and be more careful in the future. If it does, it may go on to be successful.

As a consumer I would be wary, regardless of the court outcome. When I hand my money over for food, I certainly expect it to be safe to eat.

If the business can’t give a credible offer of safety (and I say IF), then it should be removed from the market one way or another.

NoImRight NoImRight 2:51 pm 25 Jan 12

I know this is vague (actually being gentle calling it that) but on the Colbert Report recently he interviewed someone who had written a book about spurious civil suits in the US. The gist of the book was it doesnt happen as often in the US as you think and often these cases are thrown out anyway Something of an urban myth it seems. Even the hot coffee lady from McDonalds, while true, had more background than often given.

KB1971 KB1971 2:48 pm 25 Jan 12

dtc said :

I-filed said :

Well … it is true that no fundraiser was launched for these poor folk … just think, they had tummyaches and spent a day or two of their sick leave. I am all compassion.

I hope the judge in this case will remind himself of the “mushroom deaths” and award “damages” that reflect the community’s sense of proportion. If two deaths inspired donations of $38,000, then let’s see token damages, hey, Judge? Cost of some detergent to clean up after a bit of a spew? And a refund on the Silo item? Let’s be generous and say ten bucks apiece. Dickheads!

Here is an offer. Find some bad mayo and eat it. If you get severe food poisoning and are hospitalised, I’ll give you $10. To ensure you arent cheated, if you agree to take up the challenge I will immediately provide johnboy (or any person you nominate) with the $10 to hold in escrow and instruct him to pay it immediately upon your hospitalisation.

Of course, pics (and medical records) or it didnt happen.

I have had about 30 of them since I have had kids along with conjunctivitis that glued my eyes shut. Should I sue my kids? Maybe I should sue daycare………..

devils_advocate devils_advocate 2:46 pm 25 Jan 12

allyroger said :

so people shouldn’t be allowed to be compensated when negligence is involved? Maybe if someone had died, would that have been enough?

^This.

Also salmonella poisoning is a particularly bad kind of food poisoning, if it doesn’t kill you it invariably leaves you vomiting in bed for a week or more with convulsive stomach pains (it did when I got it).

I’m not happy with the standard of care for consumer products declining to the point where “well, so long as you’re not dead, then that’s all good!”.

Put another way, why should the consumer bear the economic cost of poor hygeine/food storage/procurement by a business?

NB: the above relates to the issue of food in general. I understand that this incident involved free range or organic eggs being used raw to make mayonaisse. The buyer of the eggs may need to look to the supplier for indemnity. But the supplier of the end product should still be accountable to the consumers harmed.

EvanJames EvanJames 2:42 pm 25 Jan 12

Mang said :

They were very rude to me last time I was there, the immature selfish side of me will be very happy to see them closed 🙂

They are very rude to everyone, the standard response is to knuckle your forehead and crawl harder (or head down to the Vietnamese bakery like I do).

I think we have overtaken the US in litigousness, they went through this phase a few decades back, and then it settled down. We’re still in the FREE MONEY! phase. It might be more severe for us though, as we also have the nanny state, which the Americans certainly don’t have.

Mang Mang 2:15 pm 25 Jan 12

KB1971 said :

All this will do is close the business down & for what?

They were very rude to me last time I was there, the immature selfish side of me will be very happy to see them closed 🙂

dungfungus dungfungus 2:15 pm 25 Jan 12

I-filed said :

Well … it is true that no fundraiser was launched for these poor folk … just think, they had tummyaches and spent a day or two of their sick leave. I am all compassion.

I hope the judge in this case will remind himself of the “mushroom deaths” and award “damages” that reflect the community’s sense of proportion. If two deaths inspired donations of $38,000, then let’s see token damages, hey, Judge? Cost of some detergent to clean up after a bit of a spew? And a refund on the Silo item? Let’s be generous and say ten bucks apiece. Dickheads!

Don’t mention the deathcap mushrooms deaths because already our chief minister has exposed ACT taxpayers to massive payouts to the deceased’s families by stating “the ACT is technically not liable for these deaths” Technically????? Who advises our CM before she makes thes gaffs?

dungfungus dungfungus 2:11 pm 25 Jan 12

The first thing that has to be established is “is there a public liabilty insurance policy in place”
If there isn’t you can guarantee that the lawyers would not be interested in pursuing any claims.

dtc dtc 1:56 pm 25 Jan 12

I-filed said :

Well … it is true that no fundraiser was launched for these poor folk … just think, they had tummyaches and spent a day or two of their sick leave. I am all compassion.

I hope the judge in this case will remind himself of the “mushroom deaths” and award “damages” that reflect the community’s sense of proportion. If two deaths inspired donations of $38,000, then let’s see token damages, hey, Judge? Cost of some detergent to clean up after a bit of a spew? And a refund on the Silo item? Let’s be generous and say ten bucks apiece. Dickheads!

Here is an offer. Find some bad mayo and eat it. If you get severe food poisoning and are hospitalised, I’ll give you $10. To ensure you arent cheated, if you agree to take up the challenge I will immediately provide johnboy (or any person you nominate) with the $10 to hold in escrow and instruct him to pay it immediately upon your hospitalisation.

Of course, pics (and medical records) or it didnt happen.

Thumper Thumper 1:44 pm 25 Jan 12

severe nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, muscular pain, headaches and other complaints

Compensation?

That’s just a normal Saturday and Sunday morning.

KB1971 KB1971 1:37 pm 25 Jan 12

Public liability should cover it.

Really though, while salmonella poisoning is shite, was anybody harmed from this event?

All this will do is close the business down & for what?

I-filed I-filed 1:31 pm 25 Jan 12

Well … it is true that no fundraiser was launched for these poor folk … just think, they had tummyaches and spent a day or two of their sick leave. I am all compassion.

I hope the judge in this case will remind himself of the “mushroom deaths” and award “damages” that reflect the community’s sense of proportion. If two deaths inspired donations of $38,000, then let’s see token damages, hey, Judge? Cost of some detergent to clean up after a bit of a spew? And a refund on the Silo item? Let’s be generous and say ten bucks apiece. Dickheads!

allyroger allyroger 1:30 pm 25 Jan 12

Someonesmother said :

God bless America. Oh that’s right we are living in Australia…………..

so people shouldn’t be allowed to be compensated when negligence is involved? Maybe if someone had died, would that have been enough?

Duffbowl Duffbowl 12:59 pm 25 Jan 12

Someonesmother said :

God bless America. Oh that’s right we are living in Australia…………..

I recall reading a paper or report in 2010 that Australia had overtaken the US as the home of the litigious. Must have a dig around for it…

Someonesmother Someonesmother 12:32 pm 25 Jan 12

God bless America. Oh that’s right we are living in Australia…………..

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