September 6, 1996: first criminal proceedings
The Paris prosecutor's office opens the first criminal proceedings (against X) concerning exposure to asbestos, following the complaint of an electrician suffering from cancer of the pleura.
Two months earlier, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Jacques Barrot announced the ban, as of January 1, 1997, of the manufacture, import and sale of asbestos in France.
October 29, 1996: Eternit
A first judicial investigation against the leaders of Eternit, a fiber cement company, a major user of asbestos, has been opened by the Valenciennes (North) prosecutor's office.
November 19, 1996: Jussieu
The Paris prosecutor's office opens a judicial investigation against "X", about the presence of asbestos in Jussieu, from where the first major anti-asbestos mobilization started in the 1970s. The Minister of National Education, François Bayrou announces the complete "asbestos removal" of this Parisian university campus.
December 18, 1997: Eternit condemned
The Dijon Court of Appeal condemns Eternit for "inexcusable fault" by the employer towards four former employees or beneficiaries. A "first victory for asbestos victims and their families", according to the National Association for the Defense of Asbestos Victims (ANDEVA).
From this date, many other manufacturers will be condemned for "inexcusable fault" until the 2000s, in particular shipyards such as DCN, CMN, Normed, Chantiers de l'Atlantique or de la Seyne-sur-Mer and groups manufacturers such as Everite (Saint-Gobain group), Alstom, Valeo, Michelin or Sanofi.
May 30, 2000: the "offending" state
The administrative court of Marseille judges for the first time the State "responsible" for the death of four people contaminated by asbestos, invoking "the culpable delay taken by the State to enact more severe standards regarding the inhalation of asbestos of asbestos in the workplace".
The judgment was upheld on appeal on October 18, 2001 and then confirmed on March 3, 2004 by the Council of State.
May 11, 2010: prejudice of anxiety
The Court of Cassation recognizes that asbestos workers can benefit from compensation for anxiety damage, but refuses to recognize any economic damage to them.
February 8, 2013: Amisol, dismissal
The Paris Court of Appeal dismisses the emblematic investigation into the contamination of workers at the Amisol asbestos spinning factory in Clermont-Ferrand, closed since 1974.
April 14, 2015: Martine Aubry cleared
Martine Aubry is indicted on November 7, 2012 for homicide and involuntary injuries as former director of labor relations of the Ministry of Labor between 1984 and 1987 in the investigation into exposure to asbestos in the Valeo factories of Condé-sur-Noireau (Calvados).
The PS mayor of Lille was definitively exonerated on April 14, 2015 by the Court of Cassation.
June 13, 2017: towards multiple non-places
The Paris public prosecutor's office requests the end of the investigations in several criminal investigations, considering that it is impossible to determine with certainty when the victims were intoxicated, a decision which opens the way to cascading dismissals.
This will be the case on July 10, 2019 for officials from Eternit, indicted for homicide and involuntary injury.
Seven days later, a general dismissal was also ordered in the case of the Condé-sur-Noireau factories.
January 22, 2021: resumption of investigation on Everite
The Paris Court of Appeal orders the resumption of the investigation into Everite, considering that its managers could be held responsible for the exposure of employees, reversing a dismissal of December 2018 on this subsidiary of Saint-Gobain.
February 24, 2022: Jussieu, dismissal
Justice orders the abandonment of the proceedings in the Jussieu file: it is "not possible to link the damage to any faults which could be attributed - with certainty - to persons having a responsibility in the exposure to the 'asbestos".