Canadian Asbestos Industry Reacts to Criminal Conviction of Two European Execs: Canadian Asbestos Reacts to Historic Euro Verdict

By Blatchford, Andy | The Canadian Press, February 13, 2012 | Go to article overview

Canadian Asbestos Industry Reacts to Criminal Conviction of Two European Execs: Canadian Asbestos Reacts to Historic Euro Verdict


Blatchford, Andy, The Canadian Press


MONTREAL - Canada's asbestos industry said it had nothing to fear Monday after two men were criminally convicted in more than 2,000 asbestos-related deaths in Italy.

Construction-firm executives Jean-Louise de Cartier of Belgium and Stephan Schmidheiny of Switzerland were each handed 16-year prison sentences for negligence following a trial that officials called historic.

A representative for Canada's controversial asbestos sector said he doesn't think similar criminal charges could ever be laid against industry players here.

"I personally believe that there is no possibility," said Guy Versailles, a spokesman for Montreal asbestos salesman Baljit Chadha and Quebec's Jeffrey Mine.

Versailles said if it were possible, such charges likely would already have been filed against people in a highly scrutinized industry that has lost many civil lawsuits for past unsafe practices of the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

"The victims and the lawyers have been so persistent on this -- for decades -- milking the industry dry that anything they could do and anything governments could do would have been done," he said Monday following the verdict in Italy.

"I think it's as simple as that."

Versailles insists the embattled Canadian industry, which is now only located in central Quebec, cleaned up its act long ago. The industry says the fibrous mineral is safe when handled in a secure manner -- a claim industry critics dispute.

But one legal expert said similar criminal charges could be possible in Canada. He added, however, that it might be difficult for prosecutors to obtain a conviction.

Ed Ratushny, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, said executives can be charged in Canada with negligence for employee injuries and deaths.

As an example, Ratushny cited the 1992 Westray coal-mine explosion in Nova Scotia, which killed 26 miners. Criminal charges were laid against the company and a few of its managers, but they were stayed after a trial.

He said it's hard to make a direct link between actions taken by industry executives and asbestos exposure, which often takes a long time to develop into a related illness.

Ratushny noted that just because lawyers have won civil lawsuits against the Canadian asbestos industry doesn't guarantee criminal charges could also be laid.

"There's a higher burden of proof in a criminal case -- you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt," he said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Canadian Asbestos Industry Reacts to Criminal Conviction of Two European Execs: Canadian Asbestos Reacts to Historic Euro Verdict
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.