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Criteria for imputed negligence

#administrative liability of legal entities: the Supreme Court focused on the scope of the criterion of negligence and ‘benefit’ of the entity in a case of #workplace accident involving an employee.

Attorney Luigi Tassinari reports on judgment no. 22256 of 2021, with which the 4th Division of the Supreme Court limited the scope of application of the criteria of “interest” and “benefit”, in order to prevent an excessive expansion of the liability of legal entities in the event of criminal negligence for violating accident prevention regulations.

With specific reference to the “benefit of the legal entity” criterion, the following principles are of particular interest:

  • “the connotation of the systematic nature of the violations can be considered extraneous to the requirement of the advantage and – as regards this imputed negligence criterion – it follows a purely proof scheme, as a possible index of the existence and consistency, from an economic point of view, of the advantage, resulting from the failure to foresee and / or adopt the necessary prevention measures “;
  • “Where there is no proof – which can also be inferred from the systematic underestimation of risks – that failing to take precautions is the result of a choice ultimately aimed at saving on business costs, (i.e., a specific corporate policy aimed at maximizing profit with a containment of costs in terms of safety, to the detriment of the protection of the life and health of workers), and, on the other hand, the occasional violation of accident-prevention regulations, the requirement of interest having been ruled out, the benefit must be proven, which can alternatively translate as noticeable cost savings or an increase in productivity. As such, the motivation of the ruling that recognizes this benefit must adequately account for the evidence, including any presumptive evidence, which has led to it”.


#criminal negligence # 231