Charity Golf Day Food-Poisoning Prosecution Concludes

29 January 2020

Instructed by the Environmental Health Service at Brentwood Borough Council, Richard Heller concluded proceedings against Crown Golf Operations Limited for causing a major food-poisoning outbreak at a charity golf event, after which numerous attendees became unwell, some of whom were hospitalised. The cause of their illness was established by Public Health England to be a strain of campylobacter in undercooked chicken liver pâté. The company submitted that it was unable to pay a fine, relying on its accounts showing year on year losses, with even larger losses being recorded by its parent company. Following complex legal argument addressing the principles as to when it is appropriate to pierce the corporate veil or look to the finances of linked organisations, the company was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay full costs, having regard to the financial circumstances of the company’s principle shareholder.

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