NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey, November 21, 2011 – On Friday, November 18, 2011, LK client Bonnie Anderson was honored by the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) at the 25th Anniversary Awards Reception held at the Rutgers Labor Education Center in New Brunswick, NJ. Bonnie is a ten-year survivor of peritoneal mesothelioma who, since her diagnosis in 2001, has worked to turn her personal struggle with the disease into a campaign to bring awareness of the dangers of exposure to asbestos and to ban asbestos in the United States.
Diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma at just 53 years old, Bonnie had been exposed to asbestos from laundering asbestos-contaminated clothing of her husband, John, who worked at the Exxon Bayway oil refinery in Linden, NJ. Bonnie graduated with degrees in Elementary Education and Library Science in 1974, but because teaching jobs were scarce, she took a job at the Exxon Bayway refinery for twelve years before becoming a middle school librarian.
Upon learning of her diagnosis, Bonnie hired LK, a nationally recognized mesothelioma law firm, to sue ExxonMobil for knowingly exposing her to asbestos by failing to warn and protect its workers from bringing home to their families the deadly fibers on their clothing. After an 8-year litigation endeavor, Bonnie secured a landmark decision protecting those affected by “take-home asbestos exposure.” As Bonnie explained Friday evening, the decision was not valued by Bonnie for the money that ExxonMobile had to pay, but for “the justice that it brought.”
Though continuing to endure numerous surgeries and treatments, in addition to struggling with leukemia and avascular necrosis, caused by the mesothelioma treatments, this remarkable woman has nonetheless continued her fight to bring justice to others likewise suffering from asbestos-related diseases. Her work with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has resulted in having the US Congress designated September 26th as the National Mesothelioma Awareness Day, and she also lobbied to pass Mesothelioma Awareness Day resolutions through the New Jersey legislation.
Bonnie’s husband of 44 years, John, her daughter Darcy, son-in-law Rich, and her adorable granddaughter Cadence were all in attendance Friday night to see Bonnie receive her much deserved award from WEC. LK attorneys Robert Komitor, Audrey Perlman Raphael, and John Guinan came to support and celebrate with Bonnie. On behalf of the entire firm, they congratulated Bonnie and expressed their admiration of her courage to keep fighting for all those suffering from the deadly carcinogen.