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    CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER PROSECUTION TRIAL DATE SET

    CMCH and director manslaughter charges triggered by fall through roof death

    It has been reported by lawyers CMS Cameron McKenna that storage product manufacturer Lion Steel Equipment Ltd will stand trial on a charge of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 (CMCH) following a preliminary hearing on 2 August 2011.

    This is the second case brought under the CMCH and arises from the death of a worker who fell through a roof at the company headquarters in 2008. The company has also been charged under HSW Act Section 2 alleging a failure to ensure the safety at work of company employees.

    It is reported that three directors of the company have also been charged, as individuals, with gross negligence manslaughter and for failing to ensure the safety of employees by virtue of HSW Act Section 37.

    The trial is expected to begin on 12 June 2012.

    Comment

    This case will be of great interest to those in the construction sector and to those clients procuring or using their own employees for minor maintenance and building repair works especially on fragile roofs

    In the event of a conviction the case may provide greater insight into how the courts apply the relevant sentencing guidelines. The Sentencing Guidelines on Corporate Manslaughter suggest that CMCH fines would be expected to start from £500,000 and rise into the millions.

    Fines in the first CHCH case (Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings) were significantly affected by the poor financial position of the defendant company.

    Company directors may also note that in this case three directors have been charged with gross negligence manslaughter and with HSW Act Section 2 by virtue of HSW Act Section 37 in addition to CMCH charges in respect of the corportate body.

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