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COMPANY AND DIRECTOR MANSLAUGHTER CASES

First Corporate Manslaughter Act prosecution opens in court

Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd has appeared in Stroud magistrates court today charged under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (CMCH). This is the first case to be heard under the Act that came into force in April 2008.

Peter Eaton, a director of the company is charged separately with gross negligence manslaughter. Both parties have also been charged with failing to discharge their duties contrary under the HSW Act 1974.

The cases follow the death of Alexander Wright, aged 27, who was employed by Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd as a junior geologist. He was taking soil samples from inside a pit which had been excavated as part of a site survey when the sides of the pit collapsed crushing him. 

No pleas were entered and the magistrates referred the cases to Bristol Crown Court.

Comment: There were very few successful corporate manslaughter prosecutions brought prior to the CMCH Act coming into force. All those cases involved smaller companies where a director was intimately involved in matters leading to the death. This prosecution appears similar in nature. Those campaigning for the CMCH Act had hoped that the new act would make it easier for corporate manslaughter charges to be brought in respect of larger corporate bodies. Only time will tell.

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One Response to “COMPANY AND DIRECTOR MANSLAUGHTER CASES”

  1. MINIMISING RISK OF CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] also anticipate publicity orders with potentially disastrous effects on a business. The first prosecution under the CMCH Act act will be heard in February […]