Paul H. Ferguson, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Sol R. Gitman, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Gunther and Wright, JJ.
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 541]
In this workmen's compensation case Anna E. Lints seeks compensation for certain injuries alleged to have been the result of an accidental fall occurring in the course of her employment with the defendant, Delaware Ribbon Manufacturers, Inc. The compensation authorities made an award, the Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, after dismissing the appeal, entered judgment on the award, and this appeal was taken by the employer and its insurance carrier.
Pennsylvania Ribbon Manufacturers is the owner of a three-story building with a basement and sub-basement 'which is considered a four-story building', located at Seventh and Somerset Streets in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Ribbon leased to the defendant the third floor and the second floor annex of the building, reserving for its own use the first floor and the basement and the first floor annex. A cafeteria in a portion of the building reserved by Pennsylvania Ribbon is located on the Somerset Street side of the lower basement of the building with a direct entrance from Somerset Street.
The claimant was employed by Delaware Ribbon in its plant to perform a task known as 'barreling'. The employer scheduled a Christmas party for its employes to be held in Pennsylvania Ribbon's cafeteria
[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 542]
commencing at noon on December 21, 1950. Claimant testified that attendance at the party was necessary 'in order to be paid for the day', a fact which she knew because her foreman had told her so some two years before the party under consideration. Claimant entered the cafeteria by the Somerset Street entrance at noon to attend the party. There is no evidence with respect to her activities during the afternoon. However, she, accompanied by some friends, left the party after dinner, and it is conceded that when she left she did not intend to return. Subsequently she changed her mind and decided to return to the party and in attempting to do so she fell and sustained the injuries which are the basis of her claim in this case.
If it be ascertained that an accident occurred off the employer's premises, it must affirmatively appear that the injured employe was 'actually engaged in the furtherance of the business or affairs of the employer' at the time of the accident. Fulwiler v. Mack-International Motor Truck Corp., 137 Pa. Super. 421, 424, 9 A.2d 173; Kirker v. W. M. McIntosh Co., 156 Pa. Super. 199, 203, 39 A.2d 846. Here it is clear that the claimant was not actually furthering the business of her employer when she was injured. Consequently, the only question before us, a legal one, Wolsko v. American Bridge Co., 158 Pa. Super. 339, 44 A.2d 873, is whether at the time of her injury the claimant was on the 'premises' of her employer within the meaning of the term as used in section 301 of the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1915 as re-enacted and amended by the Act of June 21, 1939, P.L. 520, § 1, 77 P.S. § 411.
The word 'premises' in the act is limited to the property of the employer used in connection with the actual place of ...