Casale Monferrato turns down asbestos settlement offerFollowing the advice of local health officials and advocate groups, the city council of Casale Monferrato, Italy, recently decided to refuse an 18.3 million euro settlement offer from the lawyers of an executive on trial for his role in the Eternit asbestos disaster.
In a release, the city council noted the decision was made to reject the settlement offer from the attorneys of defendant Stephan Schmidheiny with only a few days remaining before the verdict is set to be handed down on February 13.
Schmidheiny, a Swiss billionaire, is on trial in one of the largest instances of asbestos-related deaths in history. The defendant owned Eternit, a construction firm, which is accused of operating plants where asbestos exposure occurred, allegedly causing the death of thousands of individuals in the area. These deaths were likely caused by a range of serious asbestos-related illnesses including asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.
The Associazione Famigliari Vittime Amianto, a group of Casale asbestos victims' families, noted in a separate release that it was pleased with the decision of the city council to reject the settlement and seek to bring the defendant to justice.
The settlement reportedly would have forced Casale to withdraw from this case and future ones involving Eternit.