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22 January 2017 JTF Wholesale to face trial over deaths linked to Legionnaires' outbreak

posted 23 Jan 2017, 00:20 by Ian Clarenbone

Company bosses will go on trial this summer charged with corporate manslaughter after two men died in a Legionnaires ’ disease outbreak linked to their store.

JTF Wholesale has been charged in connection with the deaths of 79-year-old William Hammersley, of Chesterton, and Richard Griffin, aged 56, of Clayton, in 2012. Both men had visited the firm’s Fenton branch before falling ill. An investigation revealed the probable source of the outbreak came from a hot tub on display at the store.

North Staffordshire assistant coroner Anthony Curzon has now adjourned the inquests into Mr Griffin’s and Mr Hammersley’s deaths until July 21, when the outcome of the criminal proceedings should be known. He said: “I have received notification from the Crown Prosecution Service that there is a criminal trial listed for hearing at crown court on June 12. It is scheduled to last for up to four weeks.”

JTF has pleaded not guilty to two charges of corporate manslaughter, two relating to health and safety, and two breaches of duty to employees and non-employees.