The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that two plaintiffs alleging that exposure to asbestos caused their illnesses cannot have their cases dismissed on summary judgment simply because the plaintiffs’ doctor opined that their illnesses are attributable both to exposure to asbestos and to smoking.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, the court’s ruling in Summers v. Certainteed Corp. and Nybeck v. Union Carbide Corp. could impact many cases beyond asbestos litigation by setting the standard of review of summary judgments as a de novo review, rather than an abuse of discretion standard of review.