Judge rules company is liable after employee dies after having sex on business trip

A court in France has ruled to hold a company liable in the death of one of its employees, who died from a heart attack following a sexual encounter on a business trip.

The man, identified only as "Xavier" in court documents, was working as a security technician for TSO, a railway services company based outside of Paris, in February 2013 when the incident took place, according to the New York Times.  

While on a work trip in central France, Xavier had relations with an unidentified woman at her home before returning to his hotel, only to later die from a heart attack purportedly linked to the sexual encounter.

A French health insurance provider ruled Xavier's death was a workplace accident, a decision that TSO attempted to appeal, stating the employee's death "occurred when he had knowingly interrupted his mission for a reason solely dictated by personal interest, independent of his job, after he has an adulterous relationship with a perfect stranger," court records show.

However, the insurance provider argued that sexual intercourse "is a matter of everyday life, like taking a shower or (having) a meal," and should, therefore, be covered by insurance the same way any other employee behavior exhibited on a work trip would be. It also noted that TSO had not submitted evidence that Xavier "interrupted" his work schedule to have sex with the woman. 

The Court of Appeal in Paris ultimately decided to uphold the insurance provider's original decision, noting "it is common ground that sexual intercourse is an act of everyday life." The decision entitled the deceased man's family to undisclosed compensation.

Although the ruling came in May 2019, the case made headlines last week after French attorney Sarah Balluet, who specializes in labor law, shared court records on LinkedIn