About that oh-so-French workers’ comp case

As has been widely reported, “a French court has ruled that an employee who died while having sex on a business trip was the victim of a workplace accident.” [Local France, ABA Journal] While some commentators have ooh-la-la’ed it up about this supposedly being an especially Gallic ruling, longtime Overlawyered readers realize that the issue has previously arisen in places other than France. Our 2013 post reported this from Australia: “Update: Oz high court reverses sex-injury comp award”


  • The theory, at least in Florida but likely most jurisdictions is that people are covered by WC 24/7 while in “ travel status” unless engaged in an activity not contemplated or sanctioned by the employer. Essentially an ( inter) course and scope of employment analysis.

  • ” unless engaged in an activity not contemplated or sanctioned by the employer.”

    Not even that limitation applies everywhere. There was a case in the US from the upper Mid-West (I forget if it was from Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan) involving a traveling salesman. He traveled in an RV, rather than pay for hotel/motel rooms. One night on the road during winter, he got drunk and passed out while trying to unlock the RV door, suffering frostbite for his trouble. He got workman’s comp.

  • It has happened in California and Michigan as well. (I’m currently out of the country so I don’t have access to the case citatons.)