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Australian court: Worker's comp covers sex mishap



Published: Tue, December 18, 2012 @ 2:30 p.m.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian court has ruled that a bureaucrat who was injured while having sex on a business trip is eligible for worker's compensation benefits.

The Full Bench of the Federal Court ruled Dec. 13 in favor of the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and rejecting the appeal of the federal government's insurer.

The woman was hospitalized after being injured in 2007 during sex with a male friend while staying in a motel in the town of Nowra, 100 miles south of her hometown of Sydney.

During the sex, a glass light fitting was torn from its mount above the bed and landed on her face, injuring her nose and mouth. She later suffered depression and was unable to continue working for the government.

Her claim for worker's compensation for her physical and psychological injuries was initially approved by government insurer Comcare, then rejected after further investigation.

An administrative tribunal agreed with Comcare that her injuries were not suffered in the course of her employment, saying the government had not induced or encouraged the woman's sexual conduct. The tribunal also found the sex was "not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay" such as showering, sleeping and eating.

That ruling was overturned in the Federal Court earlier this year, when Judge John Nicholas rejected the tribunal's findings that the sex had to be condoned by the government if she were to qualify for compensation.


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