front of Pirelli building

The international tyre manufacturer Pirelli has been brought to court and found guilty following the deaths of 20 former staff members.

A Milan court handed down jail sentences to 11 senior managers and two former CEOs who sat on the board of directors during the 1980s. ANSA news agency stated that the defendants were issued with sentences of up to 7 years and 8 months for their participation in exposing staff to deadly asbestos material during the 1980s. The court claimed that the company failed to provide its staff with sufficient protection or training against contamination from asbestos.

The death of all 20 staff members was connected to a rare type of lung disease called Mesothelioma, which is usually found in patients who have had exposure to significant amounts of asbestos fibers.

These recent allegations follow in the wake of Pirelli’s involvement in a similar court case in 2012 over the death of a 48-year-old worker whose body was found inside an industrial oven at its Carlisle plant.

In Pirelli’s current legal dispute, they have pledged they will appeal the legal action “on the basis of scientific evidence available to date.”

All families of the deceased have been awarded financial damages, with one family receiving €500,000. Many of other families have since settled with Pirelli outside of court for an undisclosed amount.