Quoted from //www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/nj_appellate_court_upholds_7m.html
N.J. appellate court upholds $7M award from Exxon to woman handling husband’s asbestos-laden clothing
Published: Friday, August 20, 2010, 2:05 PM Updated: Saturday, August 21, 2010, 12:06 PM
TRENTON — A Berkeley Heights woman who washed her husband’s asbestos-laden clothing and later contracted mesothelioma is entitled to $7 million in damages from Exxon Mobil, an appellate court ruled today.
In upholding the jury verdict, the court also said Bonnie Anderson’s husband, John, is entitled to $500,000 and it added interest that’s still accruing.
“If we had a picture under the definition ‘innocent victim,’ this would be it,” said Moshe Maimon, a New York attorney who represents Anderson. “This is a tremendous precedent in terms of the families of workers.”
A 2006 state Supreme Court decision said people with a secondary exposure to asbestos can sue companies they believe are liable. Today’s appellate ruling marked the first time a jury verdict in such a case was upheld, Maimon said.
Exxon Mobil Corp. spokesman Kevin Allexon said the company had not decided whether it will appeal the ruling to the state’s highest court.
“Whatever the end result is, I hope I’m alive to see it,” Anderson, 61, said today. An electrician and librarian, she said she’s gone from being “a supermom” who worked and cared for her family to having to be looked after by her husband. She’s had surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation — which she said gave her leukemia — and now spends most of her time at home, where she is active in mesothelioma awareness and support groups.
“For me, it’s not about the money, it’s about the disease,” Anderson said. “I’d give anything to get my life back.”