Iandiorio v. Kriss & Senko Enterprises, Inc.

A third person, who entered an area designated by the company as a smoking area, was wearing gasoline-drenched clothing.  An employee of the company struck a match to light a cigarette; the third person was burned.  He later sued the company for negligence.  The Court of Common Pleas granted the employer’s motion for compulsory nonsuit at the close of the third person’s case on liability.  Motion to strike the nonsuit was denied; the third person appealed.  The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that the evidence showed that since the employer not only knew of the smoking area but dictated where employees should take breaks and smoke, there was sufficient control over the employees’ conduct to bring those activities within the scope of employment.  Since there was, therefore, a jury question as to whether the employer was liable, the lower court decision was reversed and the case remanded to the trial court.

 517 A.2d 530 (Pa. 1986).