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GENEVIEVE ANTHONY v. KOPPERS COMPANY (10/29/81)

decided: October 29, 1981.

GENEVIEVE ANTHONY, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF ROBERT D. ANTHONY; VERNELL BROWN, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF WILLIAM H. BROWN; EMILY L. MELLOTT, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF RALPH L. MELLOTT; MABEL SHARP, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF GILBERT C. SHARP; ELIZABETH STRAVER, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF KELVIN STRAVER,
v.
KOPPERS COMPANY, INC., ALLIED CHEMICAL CORPORATION, AND SALEM CORPORATION, V. BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION. APPEAL OF KOPPERS COMPANY, INC. AND BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION AT 37. APPEAL OF ALLIED CHEMICAL CORPORATION AT 38



No. 81-1-37, 81-1-38, Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court at No. 759, April Term, 1979, Affirming the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, at G.D. 77-29285

COUNSEL

Patrick R. Riley, Avrum Levicoff, Egler & Reinstadtler, Pittsburgh, for Koppers Co., Inc.

Blair S. McMillin, Lawrence E. Flatley, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, Pittsburgh, for Bethlehem Steel Corp.

Herbert Bennett Connor, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, Pittsburgh, for Salem Corp.

John W. Jordan, IV, Thomson, Rhodes & Grigsby, Pittsburgh, for Allied Chemical Corp.

John Alan Conte, Scott L. Melton, Conway, for Genevieve Anthony et al.

Wilkinson, Justice. Nix, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Larsen and Kauffman, JJ., concurred in the result. O'Brien, C. J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 496 Pa. Page 121]

OPINION OF THE COURT

These appeals*fn1 are from an order of the Superior Court affirming an interlocutory order denying motions for summary judgment. The issue is whether appellees' wrongful death and survival actions were barred by the applicable statutes of limitation. We hold that they were and reverse the judgment of the Superior Court.

Appellees are each administrators of the estates of their deceased husbands, who had been employed by Bethlehem*fn2 as coke oven workers. Appellees commenced these actions on December 13, 1977. Their amended complaint alleges that emissions from the coke ovens, which had been "manufactured, sold, constructed and installed" by Koppers, Allied, and Salem Corporation (Salem), had caused the decedents to contract lung cancer, which resulted in their deaths. The causes of action were grounded in negligence, strict liability in tort and breach of warranty and were based upon alleged defects in the coke ovens.

It was revealed during discovery that all decedents had died more than two years before the actions were brought.*fn3 In fact, the instant litigation was instituted more than five years after the most recent death. Koppers, Allied, and Salem filed motions for summary judgment, arguing that the one year statute of limitations ...


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