Employer No Longer Liable for Hotel Room Romp Injuries
In The High Court Of Australia has handed down its long awaited decision regarding whether an injured employee is entitled to compensation after being injured in a “motel room romp” with an acquaintance whilst on a work related overnight trip – the previous decision was that these injuries were suffered in the course of employment as the employee would not have been in that situation if not sent there by her employer.
Kevin Jones provides an excellent commentary on these findings and their ramifications for both employees and employers including links to advice to clients provided in response to the findings by various Law Firms. See his article here: Sex, work, liability and safety
See the full High Court findings here .
"Applying these principles to the applicant, although it is conceded that the nexus should not be interpreted in any narrow fashion, the requisite connection is absent. The employer had not expressly or impliedly induced or encouraged the applicant’s sexual conduct that evening. Nor did the employer know or could reasonably expect that such an activity was contemplated by her. The activity was not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping, eating, or returning to the place of residence from a social occasion elsewhere in the vicinity. Rather she was involved in a recreational activity which her employer had not induced, encouraged or countenanced."
Background: Previously reported in 2012 after the last decision:
Having sex is like playing cards when it comes to an injury and that is the law … although context is always important so read on
Article by Safety Legal Guru Graham Dent on his Linkedin discussion group HERE
See the posting here
You may recall this case which received significant publicity last year and no doubt will again in the next few days given that an appeal has just been decided in the Federal Court:
►The Case as reported last year:
► Australian Woman Sues for Worker’s Compensation After Sex Injury on Business Trip
An Australian woman who got injured while having sex during a business trip is suing her government employer for compensation. The on-the-clock romp involved her male acquaintance — and had no connection to her job whatsoever.
The incident, however, did occur in a motel room that the employer had paid for. During sexual intercourse, a glass light fitting tore from the wall above the bed and struck her face. She is claiming physical injuries to her nose, mouth and a tooth, as well as “a consequent psychiatric injury.”
The woman, an Australian government employee who has not been identified, is suing because the 2007 incident occurred “during the course of her employment.” ComCare, the Australian government’s workplace safety organization, initially rejected her compensation claim because sex is not “an ordinary activity,” such as showering, sleeping or eating.
The woman’s attorney disagrees. Suffering harm or damage during recreational sex “is no different than slipping over in the shower or being bashed by a gang of thugs,” said lawyer Barrister Leo Grey, who also added that injuries sustained from work-related drinking or socializing have been compensated.
A federal court judge is now hearing the case. Read more on last year’s decision: http://ti.me/JKNuc4
AND NOW THE CASE HAS BEEN DECIDED:
► Worker injured during sex gets compo
A WOMAN who was injured while having sex in her hotel room during a work trip is entitled to compensation.
In the Federal Court today Justice John Nicholas ruled that the woman was injured during her “course of employment”.
The woman’s barrister argued that sex was an “ordinary incident of life” in a hotel room, much like showering and sleeping.
The Judge ruled that “if the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would be entitled to compensation” and the fact that the woman was engaged in sexual activity rather than some other lawful recreational activity while in her hotel room does not lead to any different result.
The woman, who cannot be named, challenged the rejection of her workers’ compensation claim for facial and psychological injuries suffered when a glass light fitting came away from the wall above the bed as she was having sex in November 2007.
PLEASE NOTE – while undoubtedly there is an aspect to this case which guarantees its wide discussion in the media and may generate comments – inappropriate comments will be deleted. I am sure I did not have to say that, but I did anyway ..