Notts firm admits blame for death of worker21 July 2004
Electrocuted at work
The widow of a man fatally electrocuted at a Nottinghamshire metal working plant has welcomed his employers finally admitting total blame for his death.
Carnaud Metal Box Ltd, based in Sutton in Ashfield, had denied responsibility throughout the civil proceedings against them. It was not until they reached the court steps that they accepted that their negligence caused Brian Pemberton to be killed in September 2002.
Brian had been investigating water seepage in an oven when he received a high voltage shock such that he was electrocuted and died.
No electrical training given
Brian's employers denied responsibility for his death. At the inquest and at the Health and Safety Executive trial they claimed that Brian should have done more to ensure that the power supply was switched off. Yet he had never been given electrical training by the firm.
They continued to argue fault on Brian's part throughout the civil proceedings on behalf of Brian's widow Joyce, which were backed throughout by his union Amicus and trade union lawyers Thompsons.
The case finally settled on the steps of Mansfield County Court for an undisclosed sum, with Carnaud finally admitting full responsibility and making it clear to the Court Brian was in no way at fault.
Brian was only 42 when he died
Brian's widow, Joyce Pemberton said: "All I ever wanted was for Brian's employers to admit it was 100% their fault. They were fined a small sum by the magistrates but neither that trial or the inquest found anyone accountable. In my opinion people who have had their loved ones killed in this way should automatically have their cases heard in the County Court. I wasn't interested in the money but I was determined not to settle this case until we had a confession.
"Brian was only 42 when he died. He had his life ahead of him. He was such a committed family man and his loss has been devastating for us. At least now I feel that I have some closure in what has been a terrible time for me and my family. But if it hadn't been for the support of Brian's union Amicus and Thompsons I don't think I'd ever have achieved that."
Philip King, Joyce Pemberton's lawyer at Thompsons Nottingham, said: "By not admitting fault until now, Carnaud has unnecessarily and cruelly deepened Joyce Pemberton's anguish and grief. If the government had by now brought in its long-promised new law of corporate killing there is no doubt that this company would have been convicted."
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