Pierson v. Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co.Annotate this Case
This case stems from a traffic accident caused by an oil rig worker driving home after work and providing two other employees with a ride to their employer-paid hotel. Under the going and coming rule, employees traveling to and from work are considered outside the scope of employment and, therefore, employers are not liable for torts committed during the employee’s commute. The court concluded that the undisputed facts establish that the going and coming rule applies in this case where it cannot be reasonably inferred from the undisputed facts that the employer impliedly required or requested the driver to provide transportation to his supervisor between the hotel and the jobsite; the supervisor’s requests for such rides were personal in nature and are not reasonably imputed to the employer; and thus this case is comparable with other cases in which the going and coming rule was applied to employees who made their own carpooling or ridesharing arrangements. In this case, there is no reasonable basis for inferring H&P’s conduct caused or allowed crew members to believe that Ruben Ibarra’s requests for rides were made on behalf of H&P. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment and concluded that the employer is not liable for the traffic accident under the doctrine of respondeat superior.