Although the public perception of the meaning of the term "corporate crime" includes white collar crimes such as embezzlement and insider trading, today corporate crime encompasses another meaning in American jurisprudence-violent corporate crime. Corporations charged with such violent crimes generally fall into two categories: (1) those that manufacture or market consumer products which cause death within the general public, and (2) those whose employees are killed due to fatal accidents within the workplace. The usual legal recourse against a corporation responsible for the death of a person, in either of the above categories, is the filing of a civil wrongful death suit. A brief look at the number of workplace deaths per year demonstrates the need to increase measures ensuring the safety of America's workers. This Note first traces the history of corporate criminal liability in American jurisprudence. It then discusses the trend toward corporate criminal liability for homicide arising from workplace deaths by examining several notable cases. While the focus of this Note is corporate criminal liability for workplace death, this author will also discuss cases involving non-workplace fatalities since the legal issues involved are similar to all corporate criminal prosecutions. This Note next addresses the federal preemption defense to state corporate criminal prosecutions and the need for federal legislation barring this defense. Finally, this Note proposes several statutory provisions to expand corporate criminal liability for workplace deaths in Ohio.
Note, The Criminal Corporation: Is Ohio Prepared for Corporate Criminal Prosecutions for Workplace Fatalities, 45 Clev. St. L. Rev. 135 (1997)