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Old 14.02.2012, 14:19
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Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, sentenced in absentia to 16 years on Monday by an Italian court in a landmark asbestos trial, is a self-styled philanthropist and champion of sustainable development.

Read the full article: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'
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Old 14.02.2012, 16:43
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the 'Swiss Bill Gates' ??

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Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, sentenced in absentia to 16 years on Monday by an Italian court in a landmark asbestos trial, is a self-styled philanthropist and champion of sustainable development.

Read the full article: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'
But I regard Bill Gates as a famous innovator. What they share is being rich, but otherwise, the cement industrialist and the "super innovator" do not have much in common
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Old 14.02.2012, 18:50
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Re: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'

I'll stick my neck out on this one. I wouldn't call him the 'Swiss Bill Gates' either. Didn't he inherit his 'start capital' from his father?

But before we throw too many stones in his direction, does anyone know of the REAL history of the cement story as it actually happened? Without the benefit of hind-sight? I haven't looked for links but maybe someone else knows of something.

I can well understand that the folk want a scapegoat - they have all suffered far too much. It is a truly horrific story with dreadful consequences. But where did Stephan Schmidheiny get the firm from? If he bought it, why? How much money did he make out of it? When did he start implementing better safety measures? What else could he have done? Closed the place down? Permanently? Till the safety measures were set up?

Any ideas?

Edit: a bit late but I have now read the article. I didn't read it to begin with as I had already read the news in the Swiss daily papers this morning.
The article linked here tells how he took over Eternit but still gives no information about time lapse between knowledge of the danger of asbestos and the beginning of changes in safety precautions. Answers to my other questions would still interest me.
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Old 14.02.2012, 18:53
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Re: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'

I want to believe that The Local comes up with its headlines just for the lulz here. I really want to believe that.
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Old 14.02.2012, 19:03
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Re: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'

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I want to believe that The Local comes up with its headlines just for the lulz here. I really want to believe that.
The Local didn't give him the title. Forbes did

'In 2009, Forbes magazine titled an article on Schmidheiny "The Bill Gates of Switzerland," a reference to his membership of an elite club of donors, including Gates and Warren Buffet, who have given away $1 billion or more.'

Or so The Local says they did.
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Old 14.02.2012, 23:15
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Re: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'

asbestos fiber (of certain lengths) was known to be very hazardous as early as the 1930's, although many companies kept the information from the general public until much later. certainly by the mid 1970's the dangers were widely known. the press reports suggest that Eternit switched to non-asbestos fiber additives in the mid to late 1980's, so this sort of judgment is likely more "guilt of the fathers" than the actual guilt of those subject to the judgment.

really no winners in this sort of situation, the world of asbestos litigation is absolutely horrible.
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Old 14.02.2012, 23:40
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Re: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'

I know the nephew of the Belgian investor pretty well.... interesting to see his name appear
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Old 15.02.2012, 00:30
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Re: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'

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I'll stick my neck out on this one. I wouldn't call him the 'Swiss Bill Gates' either. Didn't he inherit his 'start capital' from his father?

But before we throw too many stones in his direction, does anyone know of the REAL history of the cement story as it actually happened? Without the benefit of hind-sight? I haven't looked for links but maybe someone else knows of something.

I can well understand that the folk want a scapegoat - they have all suffered far too much. It is a truly horrific story with dreadful consequences. But where did Stephan Schmidheiny get the firm from? If he bought it, why? How much money did he make out of it? When did he start implementing better safety measures? What else could he have done? Closed the place down? Permanently? Till the safety measures were set up?

Any ideas?

Edit: a bit late but I have now read the article. I didn't read it to begin with as I had already read the news in the Swiss daily papers this morning.
The article linked here tells how he took over Eternit but still gives no information about time lapse between knowledge of the danger of asbestos and the beginning of changes in safety precautions. Answers to my other questions would still interest me.
Stephan S. is just the "junior-chief", the son of THE Schmidheiny, Mr MAX Schmidheiny. But already his grandfather, Ernst Schmidheiny was a big industrialist, who was for instance also active in Egypt but died i 35 in an airplane accident over the Sinaļ .
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Old 15.02.2012, 20:58
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Re: Asbestos brings down the 'Swiss Bill Gates'

There are more claims in the pipeline. The factory is in Payerne, northern Vaud, many Swiss workers are also ill with asbestosis. There is also a factory in Niederurnen. In 1980 they found an alternative product, free of asbestos.

The Italian case was brought by the asbestos workers whom were employed in the 60's and 70's. I can't remember at what stage the Swiss workers claims are at, I think they were offered an out of court settlement a few years ago.

http://www.eternit.ch/zum-thema-asbest/ueber-asbest/

http://www.eternit.ch/en/products-and-solutions/
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