Stephen Spence, instructed by Clyde & Co, leading Eleanor Sanderson of 2 Bedford Row, recently appeared on behalf of retail giant Amazon in a dangerous goods prosecution brought by the Civil Aviation Authority. The company was charged with 11 counts of shipment of dangerous goods by air, relating to lithium ion batteries and flammable aerosols which were destined for flights within and outside the UK in four shipments between January 2014 and June 2015.
In defence, Stephen Spence denied there were systemic failings, saying if there were then many more failings would have been discovered. He told the court: “We are not talking about Amazon lugging a propane canister onto a plane. They are everyday household items, and one should pay perspective to that.” He added: “Amazon has no previous convictions or cautions, and is at the forefront of pushing safety standards. Other much smaller companies have made much larger mistakes. Amazon is not a company that has sat back and done nothing. It is certainly not a company that was blind to the potential problems.”
Amazon UK was cleared of one charge while another six will lie on file after the jury was unable to reach a verdict on them. They were convicted of four counts of causing dangerous goods to be delivered for carriage in an aircraft, a breach of air safety regulations, and fined a total of £65,000. For more information and press reports, see below: