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1 Jan 2007

Indesit lawsuit (re Poland)


Date lawsuit was filed
1 Jan 2007
Location of Filing: Poland
Location of Incident: Poland
Type of Litigation: Domestic



Snapshot: In 2007, criminal proceeding began regarding the death of a worker at an Indesit refrigerator factory. The Public Prosecutor charged the factory director and four managers with breaches of health and safety regulations, and involuntary manslaughter. The defendants pleaded not guilty and claimed the plant's workers ignored the health and safety regulations. The court found two defendants guilty of all charges and three defendants were found guilty of breaching health regulations. The defendants plan to appeal.

On 2 September 2005, Tomasz Jochan, a worker at an Indesit refrigerator factory in Łódz, Poland, was killed when a metal press that he was cleaning crushed his head.  Following an investigation into the fatality, in June 2006 the Public Prosecutor in Łódz charged the factory director and four managers with breaches of health and safety regulations, involuntary manslaughter of Jochan and wounding another factory worker. 

The criminal proceedings opened in January 2007 in theŁódz District Court.  The prosecution alleged that the security sensors were removed from the press operated by Jochan to speed up the plant’s production process.  It further charged that security sensors were regularly removed from all the factory’s machines, and that these practices were widely tolerated by the management of the factory.  The defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges.  They claimed that the plant's workers, including Jochan, ignored health and safety regulations and removed security sensors on their own initiative.  The defendants also argued that none of the defendants would have been able to prevent the fatal accident from happening.

On 27 January 2011, the court found two of the defendants guilty of all charges, sentencing them to two years' imprisonment, suspended for five years.  Three defendants – all in more senior positions at the company – were found guilty of breaches of health and safety regulations at the plant.  They were sentenced to one year's imprisonment, suspended for three years.

The defendants plan to appeal the decision.

- “Indesit Verdict Typical of Justice System”, Pracownik, 27 Jan 2011
- [Polish] “Indesit: szefowie winni tragicznej śmierci pracownika” (“Indesit: management guilty of tragic death of the worker”), Anna Kołakowska, Gazeta.pl, 27 Jan 2011
- [Polish] “Wyrok w sprawie śmierci w Indesicie w czwartek” (“Judgment in the Indesit death case to be announced on Thursday”), Polska Agencja Prasowa, 21 Jan 2011
- [Polish] “Łódź: kolejna odsłona procesu o zaniedbania w Indesicie” (“Łódź: another part of litigation over negligence in Indesit”), Alicja Zboińska, Dzinnik Łódzki, 8 Oct 2010
- [Polish] “Indesit i emocje w łódzkim sądzie” (“Indesit and emotions in the Łódź court”), Alicja Zboińska, DzinnikŁódzki, 12 Sep 2010