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20 Nov 2014


Italy: Supreme Court acquits former Eternit owner in lawsuit over deaths re asbestos exposure

"Eternit billionaire's asbestos jail term overturned", 20 Nov

The Italian Supreme Court…has acquitted Swiss industrialist Stephan Schmidheiny for his part in the deaths of factory workers exposed to asbestos, annulling the judgment of a lower court. The court found that the statute of limitations had passed, this making the case invalid. Wednesday night’s ruling comes more than a year after the Turin Court of Appeals sentenced Schmidheiny to 18 years in prison and fines totalling €90 million (CHF108 million). The Swiss billionaire was a majority shareholder in Eternit Genova, a firm that owned four asbestos factories in Italy. The previous ruling held him responsible for the deaths of almost 3,000 people because he had allowed toxic asbestos dust from the production of roofing materials and pipes to circulate on the factory floor…