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Pyne v. Witmer

Supreme Court of Illinois
543 N.E.2d 1304 (1989)


William Witmer (defendant) worked at a gas station owned by D.R.W. Enterprises, Inc. (D.R.W.) (defendant). In order to obtain a certification to become an automobile mechanic for D.R.W., Witmer left work one afternoon and traveled to another town to take a certification test. Around two and a half hours after finishing the test, Witmer died in an automobile collision with a vehicle driven by Keith Pyne (plaintiff). Witmer was deemed to be intoxicated at the time of the collision. Pyne brought a claim against D.R.W. under a theory of respondeat superior, arguing that Witmer was acting within the scope of employment at the time of the accident. At trial, Witmer’s widow testified that Witmer had suggested he might stay out after the exam to study for another session of the test. D.R.W. argued that Witmer’s intoxication took him outside the scope of employment, and filed a motion for summary judgment. The circuit court granted the motion, but Pyne appealed. The appellate court reversed. D.R.W. appealed the decision.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stamos, J.)

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