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Lawyer Reveals Corporate Manslaughter Act Concerns

Expert Claims Legislation Is 'Watered Down'


A workplace injury expert has revealed his concerns over the Corporate Manslaughter Act after it emerged that the first trial to be brought under the legislation has once again been delayed.

The case involving Peter Eaton and his firm Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings has been adjourned until January after it was revealed that the company director is currently ill.

However, David Urpeth, who specialises in dealing with accident at work claims at Irwin Mitchell, suggested that the legislation was more concerning than the delay to this specific trial.

He explained: “The fact that this is the first case brought under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 almost speaks for itself. The Act was watered down so much during its passage through Parliament that it has made prosecutions very difficult to bring.

“The Act also does not permit prosecutions of the individual directors, so you end up, as with this case, having any directors prosecuted for manslaughter outside the Act - adding complexity and delay.

“This individual case has yet to be heard, so I cannot comment on the facts. But speaking generally, whilst ever it remains complicated and difficult to pursue companies and individuals following a fatal work accident, we will continue to see the misery caused following accidents at work in circumstances that could and should be avoided.”