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Cappuccini Trial Collapses

The trial of the first prosecution of an NHS Trust for corporate manslaughter since the offence was introduced in 2008 has collapsed.

Both the Trust and a doctor have been cleared of the manslaughter of Mrs Frances Cappuccini, who died in 2012 hours after giving birth by caesarean section.

Both the Trust and the doctor had denied the charges. After hearing the prosecution’s evidence, the Judge told the court there was little or no evidence that the doctor had done anything wrong that had contributed to Mrs Cappuccini’s death. There was also no evidence of systemic failure at the Trust.

The Judge was firmly of the view that it would be unsafe and unfair to everyone, including Mrs Cappuccini’s family, to leave this case to the jury.

The Judge told the Court that the doctor had taken actions that were “as far removed from a case of gross negligence manslaughter as it’s possible to be” and he and the Trust that employed him had “no case to answer”.

The CPS has said that it will not be appealing this decision.

Ward Hadaway provides a range of training to healthcare professionals on corporate manslaughter and related issues.

For more details, please get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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