Asbestos in the dock

the Eternit trial report, Torino (Italy)

FIELD REPORT - day #5. Fixing the plaintiff members

The judge finally decided who's in and who's out of the plaintiff: most of the associations and local institutions have been admitted to the trial. Individuals and victim's relatives, almost 6.000, admitted. Acknowledgement for the national social system INPS and the national insurance institution INAIL. The list is now ready and the debate can (soon but not yet) begin.

the bunch of Casale citizens, always in the front line


Judge Casalbore takes his time to answer to the claims for exclusion raised by the defendant's lawyers, deciding who is legitimate to join the plaintiff.

He first states that the plaintiff in general has full legitimacy to take part into the trail. Its presence is constitutional.
In the case of the associations and territorial institutions, the judge accepted those whose involvement in the areas of the epidemic can be demostrated and those who specifically dealt with the anti-asbestos related disease struggle actively.

INAIL (the national industrial insurance system) and INPS (the social security public institution) also have the rights to join the plaintiff, claiming their huge compensation request (2 billion euro the first, 246 billion the second).

Surprisingly, the individuals who signed the agreement for a compensation at the time of the Italian Eternit bankruptcy in 1986, have been accepted in the trial. Even if a previous deal has been made, in fact, those individuals are able to join the plaintiff because the contract concerned a different indictment: homicide instead of intentional disaster.

The citizens from Casale Monferrato and Cavagnolo who subscribed to the plaintiff for moral and psycological damage, are also allowed in the trial. Even the unions (CGIL, CISL, UIL, ALCA) are allowed to represent their members into the trial.

The civil authorities can't avoid their envolvement in the trail and they will call to face the compensation request claimed by the plaintiff. They are the private companies that heritage the stock of the company Eternit of the 70s: Etex Group (Belgium), Eternit Schweiz, Hanova Holding A.g., Amindus Holding A.g., Ametex A.g. and Becon A.g. (Switzerland). They will also charge as civil liable parts for the disaster, facing a compensation request of around 500 million euro.
On the other hand - it is not a surprise -
the Italian Cabinet and the European Union are excluded from the trial.

Casalbore spent more than two hours reading the motivations of his decision.

IN:
National social security and insurance system: INPS, INAIL
Associations: LEGAMBIENTE, WWF, MEDICINA DEMOCRATICA, AIEA, ASSOCIAZIONE FAMIGLIARE DELLE VITTIME DI CASALE MONFERRATO, AUSL di ALESSANDRIA
Unions: CGIL, CISL, UIL, ALCA

INDIVIDUALS VICTIMS or VICTIMS RELATIVES
INDIVIDUALS SUFFERING A PYCHOLOGICAL AND MORAL DAMAGE (probably close to 6.000 people, the list needs a final check)

LOCAL AUTHORITIES FROM THE AREAS INVOLVED BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER

OUT:
Associations: CODACONS (consumers), VAS (Verdi-Ambiente e Società, green), ASSOCIAZIONE BOLOGNESE ESPOSTI AMIANTO, ASSOCIAZIONE ESPOSTI AMIANTO FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA, AVANI (ex AVAP, National Italian Association of the Victims of Asbestos), Comitato di difesa della salute sui luoghi di lavoro e territorio, ONA (National Observer on Asbestos), Associazione nazionale protezione animali, natura e ambiente, ANMIL, Associazione Monferrato oltre il mesotelioma: associazione Giovanni Numico

A list of plaintiff and civil authorities will be published on the website ASAP.

Finally, the defendant's lawyers address their speeches against the ARRAIGNMENT ACT, asking to nullify it beacuse of its imprecison in terms of liability and date of the accounted charge.

At the end of the session, Bruno Pesce stated: "It's a first victory. The main thing to consider today is the fact that this decision preserves, complete and undamaged the coalition against asbestos. If the defendant's lawyers are complaining about the vastness of the plaintiff, I reply to them that the tragedy itself is huge".

Next public hearing on March 8th, dealing with the issue of the jurisdiction. This will be the last preliminary session, then the public debate could start (hopefully on March 15th).

Stay tuned.

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Tags: PUBLIC HEARING, field report, trial

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Comment by Asbestos Victims Families Casale on March 4, 2010 at 16:46
DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL ORDER READ BY THE JUDGE DURING THE 5th HEARING
(in italian)
ordinanza parti civili e responsabili civili udienza 1 marzo 2010.pdf
Comment by Niccolò Bruna on March 2, 2010 at 13:27
italian press review

Eternit, ammesse quasi tutte le parti civili La Repubblica, Lorenza Peluteri

Eternit, la fabbrica della morte: 6mila operai chiedono giustizia Cronacaqui.it, Falconieri

interview with the prosecutor Guariniello about the need of the prevention
La prevenzione costa meno del risarcimento La Stampa, Gaino

ETERNIT. Presidenza del Consiglio e UE non saranno responsabili civili Vita.it, Lorenzo Alvaro

Eternit, via libera a 6300 parti civili La stampa

Eternit: i preliminari volgono al termine Zipnews.it

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A French résumé of our field report from the courtroom is weekly published on the Andeva website

Download the pdf version of the ANDEVA bulletin n°37 dedicated to the ETERNIT TRIAL of Turin, ENGLISH version or FRENCH version

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