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OFF BEAT: Best of December

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Woman injured having sex wins court ruling

An Australian court recently delivered its opinion in the ongoing saga of a woman seeking workers compensation benefits for an injury suffered while having sex on a business trip.

The full bench of the Federal Court found in favor of the government worker who was hospitalized in 2007 after a glass light fitting was ripped from above a motel room bed, according to reports. The fitting injured her face, which also caused her to suffer from depression.

The government insurer, Comcare, first approved her workers comp claim, but then rejected it after further examining the case. An administrative tribunal affirmed, ruling that sex was not an ordinary activity for work-related motel stay, unlike showering or sleeping. It agreed with the insurer that the injuries did not occur within the scope of the woman’s employment.

But a Federal Court judge overturned that finding this year, stating that had she been injured while playing cards in the motel room she would similarly be entitled to workers comp benefits, even though her employer did not induce her to play cards.

On Dec. 13 the court’s full bench agreed with the judge and ruled her employer’s approval for her conduct was not necessary. But reports say the insurer may appeal.