NHS corporate manslaughter prosecution

The Guardian newspaper reports on the end of the first corporate manslaughter prosecution directed at the UK National Health Service, the first such prosecution since the offence was introduced in 2008.

Justice Coulson instructed the jury  to acquit both defendants (an NHS trust and an anaesthetist) just over two weeks into their trial, having ruled the day before that they had no case to answer.

Another media outlet reported that Justice Coulson made the ruling after consideration of expert evidence and said:

“The test for gross negligence manslaughter is very high and cases are rare. A misjudgement has to be so grave that it is a crime.”

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