Monday, August 6, 2007
In his Findlaw column, Anthony Sebok (newly arrived at Cardozo) discusses the new "Corporate Manslaughter" statute introduced in Britain last week. In simplest terms, the law allows the British government to prosecute a corporation for manslaughter where the corporation caused the death of a person due to its "gross" negligence. As penalties, the court may impose "unlimited monetary fines" on the corporation as well as order remedial steps to correct the conditions that led to the negligence.
Sebok analogizes the new statute to American punitive damages with the significant distinction that the British statute is a quintessential public law, while punitive damages operate in the arguably private law realm of the tort system. (You can hear more from Sebok regarding his views on punitive damages by attending the upcoming punitive damages symposium on Friday, Sept. 7th here in Charleston.)