Following the first successful prosecution of Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings for corporate manslaughter earlier this year, another prosecution is now being brought against Lion Steel Equipment following the death of one of its employees when he fell through a roof at one of its factories. This is only the second prosecution since the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force on 6 April 2008. The storage product manufacturer and three of its directors are expected to stand trial in June 2012 for corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter respectively. The company has also been charged under health and safety legislation.
Under the Act, convicted companies may face unlimited fines, remedial orders and publicity orders. Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings had fewer than five employees and was fined £385,000, payable over 10 years due to its parlous financial position (and in fact it has now gone into liquidation). One of the main messages from the judgment in that case was that a bigger company would have received a substantially higher penalty. So the Lion Steel Equipment case is noteworthy, because it is a larger company, with over 100 employees, and if convicted it might face a bigger fine.