U.K. Company Is Convicted of Manslaughter Over Geologist Death
Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings Ltd. became the first U.K. company to be convicted of corporate manslaughter after the death of a junior geologist who died while working on a project in 2008.
The company was found guilty by a jury in Winchester, England, the U.K. Crown Prosecution Service said today in a statement. The geologist, Alexander Wright, 27, was taking soil samples in an excavated pit when the sides collapsed, crushing him, according to prosecutors.
“The jury found that their system of work in digging trial pits was wholly and unnecessarily dangerous,” the prosecutors said in the statement. “The company ignored well-recognized industry guidance that prohibited entry into excavations more than 1.2 meters deep.”
The case is the first corporate manslaughter charge filed under a 2007 U.K. law, prosecutors said. Cotswold Geotechnical will be sentenced Feb. 17. A call to the Gloucester, England- based company wasn’t answered.
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