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Court Rules Man Who Died from a Heart Attack after Having Sex on a Business Trip was the Victim of an Industrial Accident

Posted on November 19, 2019

A French court has ruled that a man (who has not been named and has only been identified as Xavier X) who died from a heart attack after having sex with a woman he met on a business trip, was as stated by the court, “the victim of a professional accident.” This means that as a result of the ruling, the company he was working for at the time now needs to pay an amount in compensation to his family.

Xavier X was working as an engineer for a French railway construction company, TSO. He was working on an assignment away from home in the Loiret département in central France at the request of his employer. Staying in a hotel in Meung-sur-Loire. It was in this hotel room where he was found dead. Shortly after having sex with a local woman he met while on the business trip.

The employer is liable for damages as a court ruled that “a sexual encounter is an act of normal life like taking a shower or eating a meal.” A ruling which was upheld after an appeal in May 2019. Therefore his accident can be ruled an “accident du travail”. In French law this means his partner and children are entitled to receive 80% of his salary until the time at which he would have reached retirement age. Because of this his employer is liable for contributions to his pension.

TSO argued against the ruling. Claiming they could not be held responsible for the death of the worker even though it was on the business trip. This was because his heart attack was nothing to do with his employment. Adding that he was not in the hotel room provided to him by the company at the time of his death.

However the French court ruled that they are responsible for an employee both during and after work hours. And unless the employee broke away from work to complete personal obligations, the ruling remains in place. This precedent dates back around ten years. When the court ruled that any accident suffered by an employee away from their workplace while on a business trip would be considered an ‘accident du travail’.

Do you think the employer should be held responsible for Xavier X’s death? Leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you think?

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