The unnamed employee of ComCare — the government agency in charge of monitoring occupational health and safety — met a friend while on a business trip in November 2007, and the two were "going hard" in her hotel room according to the woman's male companion, when a light fixture suddenly fell on them.
The woman's compensation claim for facial and psychological injuries was rejected by her employer.
"If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would have been entitled to compensation," Justice John Nicholas stated in his decision. "In the absence of any misconduct or an intentionally self inflicted injury, the fact that the applicant was engaged in sexual activity rather than some other lawful recreational activity does not lead to any different result."
The ruling reverses a lower court's decision to deny the claim on the basis that sex was "not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping, eating."