Estate administrator's appeal of GE and CBS asbestos exposure ruling unsuccessful

By Charmaine Little | Jun 28, 2018

HARRISBURG - An estate executor failed to prove that General Electric and CBS Corp. were liable for a former employee’s death after being exposed to asbestos, as the Superior Court of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a June 12 opinion.

Robert Eorio appealed a decision from the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County that granted summary judgment for General Electric and CBS.

Eorio said he became the plaintiff in the lawsuit after the original plaintiff, Michael Eorio, died of lung cancer.

In his lawsuit, Michael Eorio alleged that he developed lung cancer after he was exposed to asbestos during his work-related contact with railroad equipment and other objects. He died a little more than a year after filing his lawsuit.

Judge Anne Lazarus   PA Courts

GE and CBS each filed a motion for summary judgment after Robert Eorio filed a notice of death and substitution.

In his appeal, Robert Eorio questioned whether the trial court made a mistake in refusing to acknowledge a U.S. Supreme Court precedent when it ruled that Michael Eorio was not entitled to testify about asbestos in the workplace since he was not an expert on the matter.

Robert Eorio also challenged the trial court's decision to set aside proof that Michael Eorio was exposed to dust and asbestos during his decades of working on the railroad.

For the first claim, the Superior Court agreed that Robert Eorio waived his right to testify in one of his statements. The ruling said the trial court did not use the question of his testimony in making its decision because the plaintiff did not bring it up during the court proceedings.

On the claim that the lower court ignored Michael Eorio's evidence that he was exposed to asbestos, the Superior Court ruled that Robert Eorio did not present enough proof to demonstrate and verify that Michael Eorio’s exposure to asbestos was from GE and/or CBS predecessor in interest Westinghouse products.

The Superior Court also said the trial court would have been incorrect in speculating that the defendants’ products contained asbestos.

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General Electric Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Superior Court of Pennsylvania

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