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Government Employee Sues for Worker Compensation after Sex Injury

2:29 PM, Jul 27, 2011   |    comments
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SYDNEY -- A federal government employee is suing for compensation after being injured while having sex on a work trip.

The woman, who cannot be named, was injured when a glass light fitting came away from the wall above a bed in 2007.

The federal court in Sydney has heard she suffered facial injuries after the light hit her.

She was staying in a country town to go to a work meeting the next day. In a statement, the man involved in the act said: "I do not know if we bumped the light or it just fell off."

"I think she was on her back when it happened but I was not paying attention because we were rolling around," he said.

Leo Grey, representing the woman, told the court there was no suggestion she had engaged in any misconduct.

Her injury occurred during "an ordinary incident of life commonly undertaken in a motel room at night," he said.

She applied for compensation from ComCare, the federal government workplace safety body, but it found the sexual activity was not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping or eating.

Andrew Berger, for ComCare, said people need to eat, sleep and attend to their personal hygiene but "you don't need to have sex."

The appeal is continuing before Justice John Nicholas.

But describing the case as "by no means easy,"  Nicholas asked if the woman had been injured in a motel gym on an exercise bike, would that be compensable.

Berger said it would depend on all the circumstances, but it would "probably fall on the compensable side."

Grey said his client was injured while engaging in "lawful sexual activity, noting there had not been any rule that employees should not have anyone else in their room without express permission of their department."

"This is not the 1920s, after all," he said.

He said she was entitled to compensation because she was at "a particular place", as specified in the legislation.

ABC

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