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First corporate manslaughter trial adjourned…again!

Is this the end of the test case?

Health and Safety for Beginners

First corporate manslaughter trial adjourned

October 12th 2010

The long awaited trial for corporate manslaughter of Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings, due to start in Bristol this week, has been adjourned until 24 January 2011. The charges of gross negligence manslaughter against its managing director, Peter Eaton, have been dropped.

Commenting on the decision Sally Roff, partner and head of the Safety, Health & Environment Group at national commercial law firm Beachcroft LLP, commented:

“At a time when there is so much scrutiny over the effective use of public funds, one wonders what is to be gained from pursuing a ‘shell’ company. There is little prospect of a significant fine being levied on any conviction and it is unlikely that there will be any meaningful guidance on how the Corporate Manslaughter Act is to be interpreted, particularly in terms of who, for the purpose of the Act, would fall into the definition of ‘senior management’.

“Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings was a very small company and it is unlikely that there will be any detailed consideration of who constituted its senior management.

“The Corporate Manslaughter Act has become tarnished with delay both by the time it took to come to the Statute books and now in its implementation.”

via HSM News Desk, First corporate manslaughter trial adjourned.

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