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Corporate manslaughter warning to directors

A club for the repair industry has warned bodyshops after a company director became the first person to face court under a new corporate manslaughter law.

Bodyshop directors have been concerned for some time about potential liability if a vehicle's repairs are found inadequate and at fault for an accident.

Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings' director, Peter Eaton, faces trial next year, charged with causing the death of an employee by gross negligence under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007.

Geologist Alexander Wright died while collecting soil samples in a trench at a building site when the trench collapsed.

David Cresswell, chairman of the Auto Body Professionals Club, raised the issue at its meeting.


Cresswell said: “This is the first of what I’m sure will be many prosecutions brought under this act and although it is not related to the body repair industry it is a warning that a faulty repair could result in the directors of the company ending up in jail if they were negligent.”

However Cresswell said a bodyshop with the PAS 125 approval could use this in its defence to show it had taken all reasonable precautions and had a detailed repair procedure in place.

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