Thursday, December 20, 2012

Injury During Sex is Work-Related and Compensable, Aussie Court Holds

AussieThe Australian Federal Court has dismissed an employer's appeal and thus let stand a ruling that a woman who was injured while having sex with her boyfriend in a hotel room while on a business trip was injured "in the course of employment" and therefore is entitled to compensation. The Australian News reports:

The woman who worked for workplace health insurer Comcare, claimed for facial and psychological injuries suffered when a glass light fitting came away from the wall above the bed in her motel room as she was having sex in November 2007.

The woman in her late thirties was required to travel to a country town by her employer when the incident occured. She arranged to meet a male friend there who lived in the town. They went to a restaurant for dinner and at about 10pm or 11pm went back to the woman's motel room where they had sex that resulted in her injury.

The male friend said in his statement at the time that they were "going hard” and he did not know if they bumped the light or it just fell off.

Here's a related story in USA Today.


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This case is not aberrational. Traveling employees are not uncommonly found to be in the course of employment in scenarios without an obvious causal connection to their workplaces. So if I am in my hotel room "in furtherance of the interests" of my employer and am injured when engaged in any act not rising to the level of abandonment of my employment I am likely to be covered under workers' comp. But suppose I leave my hotel room, go bar hopping (not that I have ever done such a thing), and have an accident of some kind when returning to (but not yet arrived at) my room? A court may well conclude that my injury did not occur in the course of employment. Why have such a broad coverage rule? Without it many traveling employees would be left with no recovery if the accident was non-tortious. Moreover, in liberal construction jurisdictions a policy decision has been made that coverage is preferable in such situations, both to accomplish the beneficient purposes of the statute and to avoid unnecessarily hollowing out the risk pool. The rule is marginally stricter for employees with fixed places of employment. I treat the subject at some length in my forthcoming text, Workers Compensation Law, to be published by Carolina Academic Press within the next couple of months.

Posted by: Michael Duff | Dec 20, 2012 8:24:37 PM

Great comment and insights Mr. Duff. I'll look for your book when it comes out.

Posted by: Eugene Lee | Dec 28, 2012 12:19:56 AM

So this was a detour rather than a frolic, if you remember your tort class.

Posted by: Tangurena | Jan 6, 2013 3:02:59 AM

OK the authority will surely grant the appeal for the case underlying the business problems. Since The above case seems to be related to office work so it may seems to have compensation and may be given or rewarded as a personal injury problem for the girl. Since Australia government has its law as a valid one regarding this so it may be seen as an injury.

Posted by: Julia Watson | Feb 15, 2013 12:58:32 AM

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