A WOMAN who was injured while havingsex in her hotel room during a work trip has won compensation.
After a five-year legal battle, theFederal Court dismissed an appeal from the woman's former employer, whichargued that having sex during a work trip had nothing to do with her job.
However the court ruled that if the applicant had been injured while playing agame of cards in her motel room she would be entitled to compensation and thefact that the woman was "engaged in sexual activity rather than some otherlawful recreational activity while in her hotel room does not lead to anydifferent result”.
The woman who worked for workplace health insurer Comcare, claimed for facialand psychological injuries suffered when a glass light fitting came away fromthe wall above the bed in her motel room as she was having sex in November2007.
The woman's claim was initially accepted by Comcare, but following furtherinvestigation that acceptance was revoked on 21 January 2010.
However, after three appeals, the courts have ruled in the employee's favoursaying that in the absence of any misconduct, or an intentionallyself-inflicted injury, the woman's injuries were sustained during "thecourse of her employment”.
The case is significant for workplace law, broadening the scope of what isdeemed to be "during the course of employment".
The woman in her late thirties was required to travel to a country town by heremployer when the incident occured.
She arranged to meet a male friend there who lived in the town. They went to arestaurant for dinner and at about 10pm or 11pm went back to the woman's motelroom where they had sex that resulted in her injury.
The male friend said in his statement at the time that they were "goinghard” and he did not know if they bumped the light or it just fell off.
"I think she was on her back when it happened but I was not payingattention because we are rolling around.”
The court ruled in the employee’s favour by virtue of the fact that theapplicant's injuries were suffered while she was in the motel room in which heremployer had encouraged her to stay.
Comcare must now appeal to the High Court if it wants to overturn the decision.