A long-running legal battle over cancer deaths among workers at a Venice chemical plant reached its climax on Friday when an Italian court rejected charges of manslaughter and "environmental disaster" brought against 28 company managers. On Saturday, one of the firms revealed a pre-judgement deal with the environment ministry under which it is to pay euros 271m to clean-up the Venice lagoon.
Sited among other factories in the Porto Margera industrial estate, the Petrochimico factory produced PVC and its highly toxic precursor vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) from the 1950s to the 1990s. Following increasing evidence of harm both to workers and the local environment, the groundbreaking lawsuit was launched in early 1998 (EED 06/04/98).
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