Corporate Crime Reporter: Italian Asbestos Victims Call on Yale To Revoke Honorary Degree to Schmidheiny @CorpCrimeReport
Posted on September 30, 2013
An Italian asbestos victims’ group, Associazione Famigliari Vittime Amianto (AFeVA) has sent a letter and petition to Dr. Salovery asking Yale to revoke asbestos criminal, Stephan Schmidheiny’s, honorary doctorate.
Some people call Schmidheiny the Bill Gates of Switzerland, but he is no Bill Gates. He was convicted of causing or contributing to the deaths of more than 2,000 workers, family members and residents in the area around Casale Monferrato where the Eternit Company’s largest asbestos-cement manufacturing plant churned out lethal asbestos dust for decades.
In 2012, an Italian criminal court convicted Schmidheiny of causing or contributing to the deaths of more than 2,000 workers, family members and residents in the area around Casale Monferrato where the Eternit Company’s largest asbestos-cement manufacturing plant churned out lethal asbestos dust for decades. The Court verdict read Schmidheiny was guilty of “causing a continuing disaster in health and environment” and for ‘willfully neglecting safety regulations in the workplace” and sentenced him to 16 years in prison and ordered to pay hundreds of millions of euros to multiple victims, institutions and municipalities. In 2013, The Appeals Court in Turin, Italy increased Schmidheiny’s prison sentence to 18 years and also increased the amount that he was ordered to pay in damages.
Yale University awarded billionaire Schmidheiny an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 1996, ten years after the Eternit plant in Casale was closed, leaving behind an environment disaster. The Italian court noted that Schmidheiny’s actual knowledge of the deadly hazards of asbestos dated back at least as far as 1976 when he attended an Eternit managers conference and was involved in key decision-making about the company’s asbestos business.
Barry Castleman, ScD statds that “Schmidheiny has been convicted of creating an environmental disaster causing thousands of deaths.” He goes on to explain that, “it would be a boon to public health in this country if we had a serious conversation about dealing with toxic corporate crime as a criminal matter. Where there’d be some personal responsibility for such business practices. Eternit had plants all over the world, they did not sell their Brazil business until several years later. The argument is even made by Schmidheiny’s PR men that his conduct was just business as usual in the asbestos industry.”
Please join the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) in supporting AFEVA’s plea to Yale University to revoke Schmidheiny’s honorary doctorate and to release records about Schmidheiny’s contributions to Yale. You can email Yale President Peter Salovey at firstname.lastname@example.org and say: “We stand with AFEVA and ADAO. Please revoke asbestos criminal Stephan Schmidheiny’s honorary Yale doctorate.”
ADAO would like to recognize and thank Mr. Christopher Meisenkothen for representing AFEVA and bringing their voice and action to the USA.