LEGAL BRIEFING

Government proposals for a new offence of corporate killing could expose NHS trusts and health authorities to criminal liability for deaths caused by management failures, the health service law firm Capsticks warns in its February 2001 commercial law briefing.

An NHS trust which paid money into court to settle a claim by a farmer who alleged he had suffered brain damage after two operations for a brain tumour applied to take the money out again after the farmer was videotaped driving a Land Rover and performing other farm tasks. The judge refused, saying the activities were elementary and did not justify the trust in withdrawing the money (Marsh v Frenchay Healthcare NHS trust).