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Asbestos: first court case in Belgium
For the first time in Belgium, an asbestfile appeared in court on Monday october 24th 2011. Eternit (Etex Group), a former asbestos-processing company in Kapelle-op-den-bos, was brought to court by the surviving children of Françoise Van Noorbeeck. It is the first trial against Eternit in Belgium.
Françoise Van Noorbeeck never worked at the Eternit-plant, but had her home just 100 metres outside the plant walls. Her husband, Pierre Jonckheere, was an Eternit-engineer for almost 30 years and died at the age of 59 of mesothelioma in 1987. He was the first family-member to pass away. Soon after, his two eldest sons lost the battle against lungcancer. In 2000, Françoise Van Noorbeeck also died of mesothelioma. Her remaining children, and Belgian asbest victims organisation Abeva, accuse Eternit of negligence and carelessness and aim to end the cover-up of the responsability of Eternit.
In the sixties and seventies a lot of children from Kappelle-op-den-Bos played on and around the Eternit grounds and the numerous landfills with discarded material. Today we see an increasing count of mesothelioma victims, amongst both former Eternit workers and local residents.


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