Houston, Texas (PRWEB) February 28, 2012
Two European asbestos cement executives were each given 16 years of jail time for involuntary manslaughter, after failing to implement safety measures at four Italian plants, according to a Feb. 13 Reuters article. Shrader & Associates, LLP hopes the prison sentences and over $50 million in owed in damages resonate with similar corporations in the States, who “ought to take notice and make an effort to improve their safety practices,” said attorney Robert Shuttlesworth.
According to Reuters, the two men sentenced to jail time are Stephan Schmidheiny and Jean Louis Marie Ghislain de Cartier de Marchienne, former owner and former executive of Eternit, respectively. The Swiss corporation produced fiber cement, and its Italian plants were found to be an unsafe work environment. Asbestos-related cancers killed 2,000, and many more workers and members of the surrounding communities have developed tumors and other illnesses from exposure, prosecution said.
“While news of these deaths is upsetting, this is unfortunately not an atypical example of the illness and pain asbestos can cause,” Shuttlesworth said. “Myself and the rest of the asbestos lawyers at Shrader are encouraged to learn of the justice that was served to two executives. They’re guilty of valuing financial gain above the health of thousands.”
About 6,000 people sought damages in the case, and collected an average of $40,000 each, reported Reuters. Schmidheiny and de Cartier de Marchienne plan to appeal the decision.
For many involved in the trial, the sentence was historic, and believed to have worldwide implications about safety in the workplace, Shuttlesworth said. Although production of asbestos has been seriously reduced in the United States, the fiber is still common in older buildings. Additionally, the rate of new diagnoses of mesothelioma continues to increase due to its latent nature—people exposed to asbestos may take decades to show symptoms of mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestosis and tumor development can also be consequences. Patients who developed these conditions after living or working in the vicinity of airborne asbestos fibers deserve compensation for their medical expenses and for the deterioration of their health.
Shrader & Associates offers a complimentary legal consultation to patients and families interested in learning about their legal rights. To arrange a consultation, or for other information, call (888) 637-6236 or go to http://www.shraderlaw.com.
Shrader & Associates is a leading national law firm that specializes in representing individuals harmed by dangerous products and toxic chemicals. These dedicated professionals have extensive experience handling personal injury and product liability lawsuits.