In the face of this, Farrar did not hide. He told Newsnight that "The culture of [Stafford Hospital] was not geared up to put patients' needs right at the heart of it; there was almost an institutionalised blindness to what mattered."
M&S's response to these allegations is dismaying. Steve Rowe, an M&S board member, said: "On the face of it these allegations sound worrying, but our team at the time 15 years ago thoroughly investigated them on the day." He added that M&S was unable to find any "case whatsoever to say any member of staff or any member of the public was put at risk."
Turning a Blind Eye
In other words, profit came before staff welfare - but not according to Rowe, who told the BBC: "Marks & Spencer never, ever puts profit before safety. There wasn't a blind eye. Our investigations were full and thorough ... Implementation of the policy wasn't good at Reading. We are very sorry about that. We regret it. So we are disappointed by the judge's comments."
It would doubtless reassure M&S's staff, contractors and customers to learn that the company could find it in its corporate heart to open its eyes - and feel more than mere disappointment.