Australian High Court Holds Sex Injury During Business Trip Not to be Compensable
Now that I have your attention, let me elaborate. An Australian federal employee was on a business trip when she met up with a man and had sex with him in her hotel room. While engaged in the act of intercourse, a light fixture above the bed fell onto her face causing injury to her nose and mouth. In addition to her claim for physical injuries, the claimant alleged depression.
The administrative tribunal denied benefits because it determined that sex is not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay such as showering, sleeping, or eating.
A Federal Court Judge overturned the decision analogizing the sex act to playing a game of cards. In his opinion, if she had been injured while playing cards in her room it would be compensable and, therefore, she should also be compensated for her sex injuries. There was no comment on how a light fixture might come loose while playing cards but, then again, there was also no comment on how the light fixture came loose during the sex act.
Fortunately for the employer, the High Court agreed with the rational of the administrative tribunal and ruled that benefits were not owed. The Australian Employment Minister hailed the ruling as a victory for common sense.
About the Author
This article was written by Michael I. Fish, Esq. of Fish Nelson LLC, a law firm dedicated to representing employers, self-insured employers and insurance carriers in workers’ compensation matters. Fish Nelson is a member of The National Workers’ Compensation Network (NWCDN). If you have any questions about this article or Alabama workers’ compensation issues in general, please feel free to contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or any firm member at 205-332-3430.