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Italian billionaire sentenced to 18 years for asbestos violations

On this blog, we often discuss the price that victims of asbestos exposure are forced to pay. Too often, innocent people are developing mesothelioma, asbestosis and other illnesses because of exposure many years ago. Readers may know now that asbestos is a hazardous material, but for decades, many workers were not aware that breathing in asbestos could cause mesothelioma and other fatal diseases. 

Some employers took advantage of this fact. Rather than spend money on protecting workers from asbestos, many employers said nothing and took no action to provide workers with protective gear. Tragically, this negligence ended up costing employees their lives in many cases.

One such negligent employer was recently sentenced to spent 18 years in jail for his failure to protect people from asbestos. 

The Swiss industrialist also happens to be a billionaire, and made much of his vast wealth at the expense of others. He owned multiple plants in Italy where workers were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos on a regular basis. Rather than spend some time and money to protect his employees from exposure, the man decided not to provide workers with any safety measures. 

As a result of his negligence, 2,000 people suffered illnesses related to asbestos exposure and died. 

Recently, it was reported that a judge has sentenced the 65-year-old tycoon to spend the next 18 years in prison. On top of that, he is required to give millions of euros to those who were affected by the asbestos exposure. He is reportedly appealing the judge's ruling. 

Money and jail time cannot undo what this employer did. People understand that there is no way for victims to be truly compensated for the loss of their health or a loved one. However, when employers are held accountable for their negligence, families can begin to recover and the lives of other potential victims may be saved.

Source: Yahoo! News, "Swiss billionaire gets 18 years jail for Italian asbestos deaths," June 3, 2013

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