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Ben Compton QC secures acquittal in the latest legionella prosecution


After a 3 year battle, the HSE finally offered no evidence against Balticare Ltd, the sister company of Balticare Aircoil Ltd (a manufacturer of cooling towers in the USA), at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

The HSE, had been alleging design faults on the FXV and CXV Evaporative Condensers installed in the UK from the late 1990’s and despite the fact that there had never been any outbreak of legionella and against a background of substantial co-operation by Balticare, decided to charge the company with breaching Section 6(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The case was vigorously contested and included an abuse of process application; however shortly before the listed hearing the HSE abandoned their position accepting that they had insufficient evidence to justify a prosecution. Despite such an apparent climb down by the HSE, the company is unable to recover its defence costs, under the new costs regime which came into force on 1st October 2012.

Ben was instructed by Dentons solicitors.

Barristers: Ben Compton QC
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