Corporate manslaughter test case sees firm prosecuted

  • Posted

Posted 18/02/2011

In an important development in employment law, a corporate manslaughter test case against Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings has ended with a guilty verdict.

The company was prosecuted after Alexander Wright was killed when a trench he was working in collapsed because it was inadequately supported.

It was the first successful prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which came into force in April 2008.

The Act clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies and large organisations where health and safety failures resulted in a fatality.

Employment law expert Jonathan Grimes told the BBC that it was important for the case to lead to the conviction of a senior individual in the firm.

“Under the new act this principle is replaced by a requirement for the organisation’s activities to have caused the death in a way that falls far below what could reasonably be expected of that company,” he commented.


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