SARA LEE CORP.: A Settlement is Reached in Suit Over Bad Hot Dogs - The Wall Street Journal - May 15, 2000

Business Brief
The Wall Street Journal
Copyright (c) 2000, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
May 15, 2000

Sara Lee Corp. agreed to pay as much as $50,000 to each consumer sickened by contaminated hot dogs made in one of its plants. The hot dogs, which were contaminated by the listeria bacteria, were linked to 21 deaths. The settlement, reached in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago on Friday, covers people who became ill from eating the hot dogs between July 1, 1998, and April 1, 1999. The total cost of the settlement will depend on the number of consumers who were afflicted, which will be determined by an independent claims adjuster picked by the parties and approved by the court. Kenneth B. Moll, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the settlement could cost more than $100 million, while the Chicago food company said it doesn't expect the cost to exceed $5 million. The outbreak forced Sara Lee to recall 15 million pounds of meat.