0370 270 6000

Trial date set for second corporate manslaughter case

12 September 2011

Trial date set

The second ever corporate manslaughter prosecution under the new CMCHA (Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide) Act 2007 has now been confirmed as proceeding to trial, with a trial date set by Manchester Crown Court for 12 June 2012.

The case involves the death of an individual who fell through a fragile roof panel on an industrial estate in Manchester in May 2008 and sadly died as a result of his injuries.

Lion Steel Equipment Ltd, the company in charge of the works, has been charged with the corporate offence of Corporate Manslaughter under the new legislation and also faces further charges under sections 2 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to ensure the safety of its employees.

Three of the company directors (Kevin Palliser, Richard Williams and Graham Coupe) have been charged with gross negligence manslaughter alongside a s.37 charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which deals with liability of directors, managers and officers in relation to issues of consent, connivance and/or neglect of their health and safety duties.

Prior to the new act coming into force, previous corporate manslaughter legislation was focused upon identifying which directors amounted to the controlling mind of the company. This became particularly difficult for the prosecution to identify and prove and resulted in many prosecutions failing due to the complex nature of the tests involved.

The new CMCHA removed the controlling mind element of the offence and broke it down into certain specific factors to be proven i.e. the way in which activities are managed or organised, causing a death and amounting to a gross breach of the relevant duty of care.

As this offence is still so new, case law establishing the boundaries of the new legislation is, at present, based purely on the first ever case under the new act - the prosecution of Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings. This case involved the death of an individual investigating soil conditions in a trench and resulted in a fine for that company of £385,000.

As Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings was a relatively small company however, this first prosecution failed to examine in any great depth the tests outlined within the new act and how these could be applied in larger organisations with more complex management structures.

Due to the size of Lion Steel Equipment Ltd in comparison to Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings, it is likely that the courts will be required through the trial in June of next year, to interpret the legislation and thereby provide more detailed guidance to practitioners and health and safety advisers alike as to the remit and parameters of the new offence.

Training and events

24May

Part 2: LPS - it's out - what do you need to know? ON24 webinar

The much anticipated draft Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice and Regulations, including the Liberty Protection Safeguards (“LPS”), has arrived, and following on from our popular session on 12 April, you are invited to join us for two further webinars on 24 May and 23 June.

View event

8Jun

LUPC & SUPC Conference 2022 etc.venues, 133 Houndsditch, Liverpool Street, London EC3A 7BX

Come and meet the team at Stand 5 in the exhibition hall at the 7th joint consortia event to discuss how we can support you & your institution.

View event

Focus on...

Press releases

Brace of awards for Browne Jacobson at Insider East Midlands Dealmakers Awards 2022

Browne Jacobson’s corporate finance team is celebrating after winning the prestigious “Corporate Law Firm of the Year’ award at this year’s East Midlands Dealmakers Awards.

View

Blogs

Vaccinations in the Workplace: a higher expectation than one may think

There is currently no legislation requiring employees within the UK to have the COVID-19 vaccine. However, a recent Acas survey found that approximately 22% of employers intend to require their new staff to have the COVID-19 vaccination, and 21% would require their existing staff to be vaccinated too.

View

Legal updates

Integrated Care Systems: practical steps for 1 July 2022

ICSs have been introduced with the intention of uniting the operations of hospitals, community-based services, and health and social care bodies across their respective places.

View

Grievances, complaints and whistleblowing. Managing the impact of difficult behaviour

In the first of our two-part webinar series on ‘managing the impact of difficult employee behaviour’ regulatory and employment experts Ros Foster and James Tait look at what is, and what isn’t, whistleblowing in the context of grievance and complaints procedures.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up