Corporate Manslaughter - first case

Our colleagues at Callsafe report in their latest newsletter that the first Corporate Manslaughter case to be brought to court is to be tried in February 2010. The case against Gloucestershire-based Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings is due to the death of one of their Junior Geologists in September 2008. He was killed when a pit in which he was taking soil samples as part of a site survey collapsed on him.

The company has been charged under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Killing Act 2007 with the unlawful killing of their employee by gross negligence. Director, Peter Eaton, is also charged with gross negligence manslaughter and for a breach of s37 of the HASAWA.

Although the trial is set to take place at Bristol Crown Court, opening on 23 February 2010 and is likely to last six weeks, the company and the Director have yet to enter a plea. The plea hearing, originally planned for August, is now due to take place in October; subsequent to the defendants' barrister requesting more time.

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