Daley v. A.W. Chesterson, Inc.

614 Pa. 335, 37 A.3d 1175 (2012)

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Daley v. A.W. Chesterson, Inc.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court
614 Pa. 335, 37 A.3d 1175 (2012)

Facts

Herbert Daley was diagnosed with pulmonary asbestosis and squamous-cell carcinoma of the right lung. Herbert and his wife (the Daleys) (plaintiffs) brought and settled a personal-injury action against several companies. Sixteen years after the first diagnosis, Herbert was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare disease. The Daleys sued A.W. Chesterton, Inc., U.S. Supply Co., Duro-Dyne Corp. (the three companies), and 11 other companies (defendants), alleging that Herbert’s mesothelioma was caused by the same asbestos exposure that caused the cancer and asbestosis. The court granted the three companies’ summary-judgment motion, ruling that Pennsylvania’s “two-disease” rule barred the Daleys from suing for a second asbestos-related malignant disease. The Daleys appealed, and the superior court reversed the grant of summary judgment. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review. The three companies argued that permitting separate suits for more than one malignant disease would burden the judicial system with piecemeal litigation, encourage residents of other states to sue in Pennsylvania, make the determination of an appropriate damages award more difficult, and conflict with res judicata principles. A.W. Chesterton settled with the Daleys before the appeal was decided.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Todd, J.)

Concurrence (Eakin, J.)

Dissent (Melvin, J.)

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