from this practice and one of the route servicemen from Fleming of N.J. would go to Fleming of Pa. to obtain thallium for use on their jobs.
In the latter part of May, 1961, decedent used thallium to deal with a rat problem for one of his regular customers. On Sunday, May 29, 1961, he also used the chemical in the cellar of his home. Around this time he started to complain to his wife of aches and pains. On Monday, May 30 his condition had worsened to the point where he was unable to stay at work. On Monday evening the pains had become so bad that he was taken to the hospital where he remained until his death from thallium poisoning one week later.
At trial plaintiff sought recovery based on the negligence of the defendant in its failure adequately to warn of the dangerous propensities of the thallium and also on the theory of strict liability.
The plaintiff first claims that the court erred in directing a verdict for the defendant on the ground that the statute of limitations had barred her survival action.
We conclude that our action was proper. Since jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship, we must follow the law of Pennsylvania in determining what statute of limitation applies. Guaranty Trust Co. of New York v. York, 326 U.S. 99, 65 S. Ct. 1464, 89 L. Ed. 2079 (1945). Pennsylvania holds that the statute of limitations of the state of the forum controls the action. Rosenzweig v. Heller, 302 Pa. 279, 153 A. 346 (1931). Pennsylvania follows this rule even in situations where it has no substantive concern with the controversy. And just as we must follow Pennsylvania law in determining what statute applies, so also must we apply the Pennsylvania case law in determining when the statute begins to run.
The applicable Pennsylvania statute of limitations for survival actions is Pa.Stat.Ann. Tit. 12, Sec. 34, Stegner v. Fenton, 351 Pa. 292, 40 A.2d 473 (1945), which provides that an action "[must] be brought within two years from the time when the injury was done and not afterwards." The Pennsylvania courts in interpreting that act have said that "this statute, as all statutes, of course, must be read in the light of reason and common sense." Ayers v. Morgan, 397 Pa. 282, 284, 154 A.2d 788, 789 (1959).
Thus, in Smith v. Bell Tel. Co., 397 Pa. 134, at page 141, 153 A.2d 477, at page 481 (1959), a case involving sub-surface injury to the plaintiff's residence, the court said:
"As for the statute of limitations, there seems to be no dispute here that the statute runs, on causes arising from subsurface injury, from the time of discovery of the cause of the harm or the time when the cause of the harm reasonably should have been discovered, whichever is earlier. * * *."