Italian Court Convicts 2 in Asbestos-Linked Deaths

An Italian court has convicted two European men of negligence in hundreds of asbestos-related deaths and sentenced each of them to 16 years in prison.

The Italian news agency LaPresse says Monday’s verdict followed a 2-year-long trial of Jean-Louise de Cartier of Belgium and Stephan Schmidheiny of Switzerland for their roles as key shareholders in Eternit.

The Swiss construction company is alleged to have spread asbestos fibers over much of northern Italy by allowing powder left over from production of roof coverings and pipes to waft through the air.

Judge Giuseppe Casalbore read the court’s verdict in a courthouse in the Italian industrial city of Turin.

Prosecutors allege that the fibers were linked to hundreds of deaths.