The UK Court of Appeal has ruled that the $800 000 fine imposed on Geoconsult for its part in the 1994 Heathrow Express tunnel collapse will stand. The company lodged an appeal after it was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by the Crown Court in London in February 1999 (April ’99, pp9-10).

This is the second blow this year for the Austrian consultants, who in June, had the right to appeal against the conviction refused (July ’99, p7). Geoconsult must now pay the fine, cover its own fees for the appeal case and cover the costs for the Health & Safety Executive‘s (HSE) attendance at the appeal.

Geoconsult believes the fine could destroy the company. A Geoconsult spokesman told T&T International, “It’s too early to comment – we have yet to receive papers from the courts, but we will be meeting with lawyers this month in London.”