Bonnie’s Story

Dr. Bonnie Snyder was exposed to asbestos in a chemistry lab when she was just 16 years old. It wasn’t until decades later that the impact of this exposure would become clear, when Bonnie was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.

After learning that asbestos companies knew their products could cause cancer, Bonnie and her husband decided to work with our mesothelioma law firm to seek compensation for her illness.

Two mules outside

A Lifelong Love of Animals

As a child, Bonnie always knew she wanted to work with animals. She enrolled in college and began studying chemistry to prepare for veterinary school.

After getting her degree, Bonnie spent four years as a lab technician, using the same equipment she had worked with in school. Her hard work paid off when she officially became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and began living out her childhood dream.

Amidst the success of her professional life, Bonnie met the man who would become her husband. He worked with mules, and once they were married, he quickly began showing her the ropes of handling livestock.

“We’ve been married for 40 years now, and I’ve been riding and driving mules for 40 years,” said Bonnie.

However, the couple’s active lifestyle was disrupted when Bonnie began experiencing trouble breathing. She soon learned that her symptoms were linked to asbestos, which she’d been exposed to decades earlier.

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Receiving Her Third Cancer Diagnosis

Bonnie is no stranger to cancer. After undergoing a double mastectomy for breast cancer, she found herself facing yet another diagnosis — this time, for thyroid cancer.

During a routine MRI to check for any recurrence of breast cancer and while undergoing treatment for her thyroid cancer, Bonnie’s doctor discovered fluid in her lungs.

“The doctor thought I should probably have a biopsy of the lung fluid because you don’t usually have that much fluid in your lungs,” Bonnie explained.

Soon after, Bonnie became plagued by respiratory issues, and her husband had to bring her to the emergency room to have the fluid in her lungs drained. After their second trip to the ER, he knew it was time to get serious about finding answers.

“My husband said, ‘That’s it, you’re going to do what the doctor said, and you’re going to talk to the surgeon about finding out what’s going on in your chest,’” Bonne remembered. “That was the first point at which the fluid was analyzed, and I underwent surgery and got the diagnosis of mesothelioma.”

The news was a heavy blow to the couple, and their lives quickly began to change as the disease progressed.

“I’m not even strong enough to lift my body into the saddle. I’m not strong enough to handle a mule anymore, and that’s all as a result of the mesothelioma,” said Bonnie.

Despite her physical symptoms, Bonnie was determined to learn everything she could about her diagnosis — and who was responsible for it.

asbestos fibers

Discovering a History of Asbestos Exposure

While adjusting to her new reality, Bonnie found out that mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and can take 10-50 years to develop.

During her time as a student and lab technician, she repeatedly worked  with products that contained asbestos — all without knowing it.

“The chemistry labs involved heat-protective equipment,” Bonnie reflected. “All of those things were laden with asbestos. I had no idea, as a 16-year-old, that there was any relationship between mesothelioma and asbestos.”

Even though her exposure to asbestos took place decades earlier, our mesothelioma lawyers were able to track down the companies that made or sold the dangerous products Bonnie worked with in her chemistry labs.

Choosing to Take Legal Action Against Asbestos Companies

At first, Bonnie was hesitant to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. She had never considered herself someone who took legal action, especially after working with veterinarians who’d been sued for mistakes they’d made.

However, Bonnie decided to meet with Attorney Brett Fuller, who flew out to Arizona and sat by her side while she went through chemotherapy. He patiently explained all of her legal options and how a mesothelioma lawsuit could hold those responsible for her illness accountable.

“He said, ‘Dr. Snyder, you do realize that the companies who made the products that you worked with as a 16-year-old knew that asbestos caused mesothelioma?’” recalled Bonnie. “And I said no, I didn’t realize that. Where’s the literature to document that? And he said, ‘Well, I can show you the literature,’ and he did.”

In fact, many asbestos companies intentionally hid just how dangerous their products were from the public in order to protect their profits, putting millions at risk.

“I was essentially exposed with their knowledge, and I think it’s important for other people to realize that as well,” Bonnie noted.

The cost of mesothelioma treatments can add up quickly. By pursuing legal action and securing asbestos settlements, Bonnie and her husband were also able to get help paying for medical bills and other expenses during this challenging time.

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What Sets Simmons Hanly Conroy Apart

At Simmons Hanly Conroy, we handle every step of the legal process for our clients, so they can spend more time focusing on their health and families.

Our firm has nurses on staff who can help patients learn more about treatment options, mesothelioma specialists and nearby support groups.

“There’s no way to make filing a lawsuit easy. There’s no way to make mesothelioma easy. But I think Simmons Hanly Conroy made it as easy as humanly possible,” said Bonnie.

We’re dedicated to making the mesothelioma claims process as stress-free as possible, and we’ll provide you with the guidance and support you need every step of the way.

“The attorney we worked with was so patient and kind and understanding and thoughtful and courteous, and just a nice person,” Bonnie expressed.

In times of uncertainty and hardship, our mesothelioma lawyers are committed to providing clients with the care, attention and advocacy they deserve.

Get Help After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

As a leading national mesothelioma law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy has the resources and experience to help families pursue asbestos compensation and secure their financial futures.

“Everybody’s case is different, but until you talk to somebody who’s knowledgeable about mesothelioma and its repercussions, I think you haven’t done your due diligence as a patient. I would say Simmons Hanly Conroy is a good place to start,” said Bonnie.

We have over 20 years of experience standing up to negligent asbestos companies and fighting for justice on behalf of our clients.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our team now to learn more about your options.

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Simmons Support Team
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