Plaintiff Jean Whitson was employed as a registered nurse at Hanover General Hospital in Hanover, Pennsylvania, from April 21, 1990 to June 25, 1997. As a nurse, she used and was exposed to natural rubber latex gloves. As a consequence of her exposure to latex gloves, Ms. Whitson has suffered a permanent hypersensitivity to products containing the natural latex protein. Ms. Whitson alleges that she was exposed and sensitized to natural rubber latex in gloves that were predominantly manufactured and/or distributed by Safeskin Corporation, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Medical (“defendants”).
Plaintiffs commenced this action on December 29, 1997, by filing a complaint that asserts counts in Negligence, Strict Products Liability, Failure to Warn, Breach of Express and Implied Warranties, Fraudulent Concealment, and Loss of Consortium. On March 9, 2001, the Honorable Edmund V. Ludwig of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered an Order granting in part Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that plaintiffs’ tort claims were time-barred under Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations, and that plaintiffs’ express and implied warranty claims were similarly time-barred with respect to glove sales prior to December 27, 1993, based on Pennsylvania’s four-year statute of limitations governing warranty actions. Upon plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration, the Eastern District Court vacated its March 9, 2001 Order with respect to plaintiffs’ loss of consortium claim only.