Corporate Manslaughter Charges Invoked Against UK Mining Company
UK prosecutors continue to use the nation’s relatively new corporate manslaughter statute. Fields Fisher Waterhouse issued a paper summarizing the 2007 statute and the charges recently asserted against a UK mining company. The fact pattern they describe is as follows:
"In September 2011 four men tragically died following a flash flood in a coal mineshaft in the Swansea Valley. The men became trapped and died, despite the efforts of police, firefighters and mines and caves rescue experts. The mine was owned by MNS, was known to flood frequently and regularly had to be pumped out to allow miners to enter the pit.
The manager of the mine has been charged with four counts of gross negligence manslaughter. MNS has also been charged with four counts of corporate manslaughter under the Act. It is alleged that MNS caused the deaths of the four men by failing to ensure that a safe system of working was in place. This was as a direct result of the way in which MNS’s activities were managed or organised by its senior management, particularly the mine manager."