Supreme Court denies Exxon Mobile appeal of mesothelioma lawsuit

The New Jersey Supreme Court in Trenton recently declined oil giant ExxonMobil ’s request for appeal after losing a lawsuit that awarded mesothelioma sufferer Bonnie Anderson $7 million. Anderson was exposed to asbestos while handling her husband’s contaminated work clothes while he was employed at Exxon ’s Linden Bayway Refinery. John Anderson ’s job involved removing insulation, which for decades was manufactured with asbestos, to fix pumps and filters. Malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects the protective lining of the lungs, heart, chest and abdomen, is caused almost exclusively by prolonged asbestos exposure.

Anderson, 62, describes the rejection of Exxon ’s appeal “bittersweet because I’m going back into chemotherapy." Because the disease is incurable, chemotherapy will only help prolong Anderson ’s life, not rid her of the cancer.
"I wish I could tell you it was a glorious day to learn this but you take life in perspective. I’d rather not be sick, ” she adds.

ExxonMobil argues that there is no way to know how Anderson contracted asbestos cancer and even had an expert in internal and pulmonary medicine to testify on their behalf, but this didn’t appear to sway the court in their favor.

Anderson was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, which specifically affects the lining of the abdomen, in 2001. She has since undergone two surgeries, blood transfusions and several rounds of chemotherapy with five different drugs. The radiation she received gave her leukemia. Upon being diagnosed, Anderson has worked to raise mesothelioma awareness and was instrumental in having Sept. 26 designated Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

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