March 23, 2018

Swiss billionaire Schmidheiny Wins Asbestos Court Battle

Billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny was acquitted this week of complicity in 3,000 deaths related to the use of asbestos in factories formerly part of his chemicals empire, Eternit. Italy’s supreme court overturned a ruling which sentenced the Swiss entrepreneur to 18 years in prison stating the evidence in the case was out of date.

Schmidheiny had been fighting the case which wound its way through the Italian court system for years. In 2012, he was jailed in absentia for 16 years, a sentence that was raised by an appeals court to 18 years in 2013. Throughout the case, Schmidheiny who avoids the limelight, denied the charges stating once the perils of asbestos were known, he sold out of the business and was not running the factory during the period claimed in the deaths.


“My group was heading toward bankruptcy as a consequence of the combined effects of asbestos-related problems and a major slump in construction markets. Thus I built my group virtually from scratch,” he wrote to Forbes in 2009 for a feature story.

Shmidheiny inherited the Eternit Group when he was 37 as the fourth generation of a Swiss industrial dynasty. Before he took full control, he had worked around the globe for his family’s Eternit Group, which manufactured a line of construction products that had begun in 1903 with asbestos-reinforced cement. At age 29, after toying with the idea to become a missionary, studying law and travelling abroad, he was called back to headquarters. That is when he began to face the company’s asbestos concerns. Schmidheiny had filters installed at Eternit factories to reduce dust in the air, beefed up employee training and began to move the company away from asbestos-based products. He notes that he himself was exposed to the mineral while working in his early 20s hauling sacks as a shift foreman at Eternit in Brazil. When Schmidheiny took full control of the company, he sold off most asbestos operations and diversified into other ventures, including the Latin American investment holding company, GrupoNueva, and the then ailing watch firm Swatch. (He sold off his Swatch shares after it recovered.)

In 2003 Schmidheiny focused more on his burgeoning philanthropic efforts. He placed $1 billion in business assets, including GrupoNueva, into a charitable trust, which its profits annually to help entrepreneurs across both Central and South America. In a 2012 interview with Forbes he said, “In keeping with the family tradition, my charitable activities first began in Switzerland where we supported – and continue to support – a broad range of activities e.g. in the field of conservation of the cultural heritage, protecting women’s and children’s rights, protection of the environment, to name just a few. In 1992 I had an experience as the founder of the Business Council for Sustainable Development around the UN conference of Rio that profoundly changed my outlook on life. Thus, I greatly expanded my philanthropic endeavors and put a major emphasis on promoting sustainable forms of development in Latin America.”

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Swiss billionaire Schmidheiny Wins Asbestos Court Battle

Asbestos homes built as experiments in 1970s

Asbestos homes built as experiments in 1970s

ACT NewsReal Estate News


An ACT government spokeswoman confirmed the government was aware of the homes which were built as part of the NCDC Government Housing Construction Program in the 1970s.

An ACT government spokeswoman confirmed the government was aware of the homes which were built as part of the NCDC Government Housing Construction Program in the 1970s.

The National Capital Development Commission exhibited the six experimental modular houses as part of a push towards alternative housing construction in the 1970s.

The Kambah homes were exhibited for public display in May 1975 and then were allocated to public housing tenants.

A brochure from the time about the new houses says the homes have clear contemporary lines with flat roofs and floor to ceiling windows, white walls and in contrast, brightly coloured front doors.

The design of the houses ensures that they will be cool in summer and in winter, once heated, will retain warmth because of their insulated walls and ceilings.


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Asbestos homes built as experiments in 1970s

Asbestos cleanup set to begin at former Citadel Plaza development site

The long-awaited cleanup of the failed Citadel Plaza development site near 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue is finally set to begin, at least in a small way.

Kansas City officials said test pit activity will begin Wednesday and continue for two to three weeks. It will take place on four to six lots out of the 68 vacant lots identified for possible buried asbestos. If contamination is found, it will be properly disposed of, they said.

Results of those tests will set the stage for a full environmental cleanup on the site later this year, said Andrew Bracker, the city’s brownfields coordinator. A brownfield is an area contaminated by industrial or commercial use.

“It is the start,” Bracker said of the process to address any buried asbestos at the former development site –– encompassing seven blocks –– so the city can try to market the location for another developer.

Citadel Plaza was envisioned as an $80 million, 35-acre shopping center with a grocery store, restaurants, other retailers and housing. But the developer, CDC-KC, failed to properly monitor asbestos removal before some homes were torn down in 2006, and the project collapsed in a mess of environmental and financial conflicts.

In November 2011, the Kansas City Council approved a $15 million settlement to resolve lawsuits involving the development’s creditors. That settlement, made final in January 2012, gave the city clear title to the land and freed the site for development.

But first the city has to make sure there is no more asbestos contamination, and that process has taken much longer than expected.

Consultants have taken samples from 154 properties and found only one parcel with detectible asbestos fibers in the soil surface. Subsoil contamination has been harder to determine.

Bracker said considerable research on more than 200 lots ruled out contamination on all but 68 vacant lots. The city had hoped to issue a cleanup contract in 2013, but that level of continuing uncertainty about the 68 lots could lead to expensive bids, Bracker said. So the city decided to proceed more slowly and do the test pits. Even getting that contract in place took longer than expected.

“We have not met our expectations with respect to the pace” of cleanup, Bracker acknowledged.

The city has a $500,000 federal grant for cleanup and some bond funds available, but Bracker said the city wants to conserve as much money as possible for work needed before development begins.

The test pits are in the 6100 blocks of Park Avenue and Olive Street. Bracker said the contractor will monitor air quality before and during the activity and will take necessary precautions to make sure no asbestos escapes into the air. Nearby residents will not be at risk and will have access to their homes.

Bracker said it should take 45 days to get and interpret the test pit results, and that will pave the way for a more complete cleanup, which he hopes can occur by this summer.

The city also commissioned a market study about potential development opportunities for the site, but the report released in May 2013 wasn’t overly encouraging. It saw no potential for a convenience/neighborhood-oriented shopping center, noting there are other struggling shopping complexes nearby.

The consultant’s report recommended trying to attract four or five regional traffic generators such as a Menards, Ross Dress for Less, Target and Michaels. City officials have said they intend to market the site aggressively, but that won’t until the cleanup is complete.

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Asbestos cleanup set to begin at former Citadel Plaza development site

Shrader Law Announces New Shipyard Asbestos Resources

Shrader Law Announces New Shipyard Asbestos Resources

Individuals Affected By Asbestos Exposure Now Have Improved Options

Houston, TX (PRWEB) December 19, 2013

Shrader Law is a reputable law firm that specializes in mesothelioma litigation, and it now offers enhanced resources for those who were exposed to asbestos in shipyards.

Whether individuals have been suffering with mesothelioma for months or years or are just starting to show symptoms of mesothelioma related to asbestos exposure, they can obtain the information they need through Shrader Law. The law firm’s website provides individuals with enhanced resources regarding where shipyard asbestos exposure took place, dates when individuals may have been exposed to it, and common symptoms that individuals who have been exposed to this material may exhibit. Individuals often want to know more about their potential exposure to asbestos before talking to a lawyer about their rights, and they can find the information they need online at Shrader Law’s website.

Shrader Law is a full-service litigation firm that specializes in all types of asbestos cases. The firm understands what it takes to successfully obtain a settlement through negotiations or a ruling in the client’s favor in a courtroom. From the initial consultation, when a lawyer will review the client’s rights and options in detail, to the final stage of a court ruling, this is a law firm that will stand by its clients while also fighting for their rights and interests.

Exposure to asbestos can ultimately lead to the development of mesothelioma, a serious and life-threatening condition. This form of cancer can cause pain and suffering, expensive medical bills and heartbreak for friends and family of the individual. Those who have been affected by asbestos exposure should learn more about their rights. Shrader Law is a reputable law firm that has successfully represented the interests and fought for the rights of many clients over the years, and it continues to fight for clients’ rights in asbestos cases today.


Shrader Law is a widely known litigation firm that specializes in personal injury law, and it has considerable experience trying asbestos-related cases. The law firm strives to achieve the best results for its clients as permitted under the law, and its experience in these cases can be invaluable. When an individual believes that he or she has been affected negatively by asbestos exposure, Shrader Law can help. The law firm can be reached by phone at 713-782-0000.

Continued – 

Shrader Law Announces New Shipyard Asbestos Resources

Campbell residents claim they were not told about asbestos removal

Asbestos removalists have begun taking away contaminated soil piles from the development site in Campbell.
ABC Asbestos removalists have begun taking away contaminated soil piles from the development site in Campbell.

Residents living near the Campbell section 5 development in Canberra’s north are angry they have been given no warnings about the removal of asbestos from the site.

Contractors wearing protection suits have been helping to move piles of dirt from the fenced-off area near the corner of Constitution Avenue and Creswell Street.

Local resident Fiona Cotton says the only warning was a few small signs along the fence.

“There’s a lot of publicity about Mesothelioma and airborne (asbestos) particles,” she said.

“Now these workers are accredited asbestos removalists but I just think the main issue is that we’ve got no assurances about what is going on.

“We should have been informed so we could drive the other way to avoid the area.”

The asbestos contamination is thought to have been caused by builders rubble dumped during the 1950s.

Another neighbour Mark Anderson says few details have been released by the Land Development Agency (LDA) which is overseeing the project on ACT Government land.

“We knew that this material was going to be removed from the site at some stage,” he said.

“What we didn’t expect was that it would start without any advice to the people who live around.

“There’s been a lot of high wind days for the past few weeks and I can’t see much evidence of dust suppression although I did see a water truck there this morning.”

‘Extensive consultation’

However the LDA says extensive public consultation has taken place including letters and seven newsletters sent to residents.

LDA Chief Executive David Dawes says site is being managed in accordance with strict environmental controls.

“The LDA is working with the Environmental Protection Agency and ACT WorkSafe to ensure that these measures are being rigorously adhered to by the contractor,” he said.

“A strict stockpile management protocol is being undertaken and an environmental consultant is on site overseeing all stockpile movements of asbestos contaminated material.

“The environmental consultant is also ensuring that appropriate dust suppression methods are being undertaken.”

He says air quality monitoring for asbestos contamination is continuing and to date the monitoring has been clear.

The LDA has also announced it will post on its website the weekly program of works to be undertaken on the site.

The master plan for the Campbell 5 site includes buildings for residential, retail and commercial uses plus parkland and walking paths.

Once completed the site is expected to have about 520 dwelling units.

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Campbell residents claim they were not told about asbestos removal

Specialists to clear Tuam St asbestos

Specialists to clear Tuam St asbestos


Last updated 05:00 21/11/2013

tuam st


The demolition of the old Christchurch City Council offices in Tuam Street has begun.

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Asbestos will be removed from the former Christchurch civic building in Tuam St while a neighbouring site continues to be dampened down after contamination hot spots were identified.

The multi-storey building was occupied by the Christchurch City Council from 1980 until 2010 and was recently sold to the Central Christchurch Development Unit as the land is earmarked for the new inner-city bus interchange.

Earlier this month, preliminary testing of an adjoining vacant site identified isolated traces of asbestos in the soil between Lichfield St and Struthers Lane.

Ceres New Zealand was awarded the demolition contract for the Tuam St building and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) is managing the project. A Cera spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the building contained the potentially lethal substance as well as lead-based paint.

“That will have to be disposed of properly too,” she said.

Both hazards were “normal things” expected of many buildings constructed before the mid-1980s.

Specialists would be handling the removal of all hazardous substances, she said.

Meanwhile, an asbestos investigation had been conducted on the vacant land and the report was due back this week.

Staff would then be able to decide how to remediate the land, she said, but in the meantime sprinklers continued to keep the site damp to minimise dust.

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Specialists to clear Tuam St asbestos

Asbestos ruling 'ends uncertainty'


Asbestos ruling 'ends uncertainty'