DIANA K. BETZ, EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF CHARLES SIMIKIAN,DECEASED, v. PNEUMO ABEX LLC, successor-in-interest to ABEX CORPORATION, ALLIED SIGNAL, INC., in its own right And as successor-in-interest to ALLIED CORPORATION, successor-in-interest to BENDIX CORPORATION, BORG-WARNER CORPORATION, CARLISLE COMPANIES, INC., OKONITE COMPANY, GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION,KELSEY-HAYES COMPANY, METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, a/k/a METROPOLITAN INSURANCE COMPANY, DAIMLER CHRYSLER CORPORATION, f/k/a CHRYSLER CORPORATION, FORD MOTOR COMPANY, VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC., NAPA AUTOMOTIVE PARTS GROUP, ROHRICH CADILLAC, INC., DYKE MOTOR SUPPLY COMPANY INCORPORATED, SOUTH HILLS AUTO PARTS CO.
No. 1058 WDA 2006 2010 PA Super 74 Atlantic: n/a Filed: 4/30/2010
Appeal from the Order entered May 10, 2006,
Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County,
Civil Division at No. GD 05-4662
Before: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J., STEVENS, ORIE MELVIN, LALLY-GREEN, KLEIN, BOWES, PANELLA, DONOHUE and SHOGAN, JJ.
Opinion by: DONOHUE, J.
Concurring Statement by: SHOGAN, J.
Appellant, Diana K. Betz (“Betz”), Executrix of the estate of Charles Simikian (“Simikian”), appeals from the trial court’s final order entered May 10, 2006, disposing of all claims in, and dismissing all parties to, this action. This final order followed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Appellees Allied Signal, Inc. (“Allied Signal”), Ford Motor Company (“Ford”), General Motors Corporation (“GMC”), and DaimlerChrysler Corporation, f/k/a Chrysler Corporation (“Chrysler”), (collectively, the “Friction Product Defendants” ). As noted infra, Simikian, a victim of mesothelioma, was a forty-four (44) year veteran of the automotive repair industry. The grant of summary judgment was based upon the trial court’s earlier grant of a defense “global” Frye motion to exclude any and all expert testimony asserting that a plaintiff contracted an asbestos-related disease as a result of exposures resulting from work in the automotive repair field. For the reasons set forth herein, we conclude that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the Friction Product Defendants. We so conclude because the trial court, in granting the Frye motion, based its decision neither on a “scientific” theory advanced by the Friction Product Defendants nor evidence of record. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this decision.
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