In 2009 the Public Prosecutor of Ravenna commenced criminal investigations following a report issued by INAIL (Italian Worker's Compensation Authority) on occupational-related illnesses and deaths occurring in that area in previous decades. The report highlighted the death of 160 workers at Ravenna's petrochemical pole who suffered asbestos-related illnesses.
The investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor of Ravenna ascertained that - in the period between 1957 and 1985 – the workers of the petrochemical pole had installed and replaced insulation linings (made of asbestos) without any precautionary measures in place, although asbestos-related risks were well known at the time.
In the Public Prosecutor's opinion, every day 3.500 employees were exposed to the risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses. Medical records collected in the course the criminal investigations showed a large number of cases of asbestos-related illnesses suffered by the workers employed in the petrochemical pole, namely mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural plaques.
The Public Prosecutor will refer the case to the Criminal Court of Ravenna, seeking the prosecution for willful disaster, negligent manslaughter and bodily harm by negligence of 25 former managers of two companies which operated in the Ravenna's petrochemical pole between 1957 and 1985.
During the investigations the Public Prosecutor of Ravenna worked together with the Public Prosecutor of Turin, who conducted the investigations in the Eternit case. More than 70 civil parties (employees - and their heirs and relatives) seeking compensation for the suffered damages are involved.