The Criminal Supreme Court decision no. 16890 of May 4, 2012 sheds new light on the interpretation due by Italian criminal courts for alleged liability of entities stemming from the behavior of managers acting in the direct or indirect interest of the company.

The case triggered from a labor accident, causing the death of an employee in a construction company. The administrative proceeding against the company for alleged gross negligence in the adoption of an Organisational Model capable of avoiding the execution of criminal behaviour by means of prevention procedures was paralleled with the separate judgement of the supervision manager, allegedly responsible on a personal basis for professional misconduct.

In the first degree, the Court decided for lack of responsibility on the company. In the merits, a concurrent responsibility of the employee was identified in the case at hand, sufficient to determine a lack of responsibility of the manager and the company alike.

On the opposite, the second degree decision stated a direct responsibility of the manager in the specific case, on the assumption that no concurrent behaviour by an employee may determine an exemption of responsibility in the adoption of procedures able to avoid labour risks.

The Supreme Court confirmed this latter interpretation, clarifying that in no circumstance a manager involved in “re illicita” may invoke misconduct by the employee.

Source: Lavoro e Ambiente