A new legal precedent has been set in the country of France, and could very well take the entire judicial system down a very slippery slope.
A French court has officially ruled that a corporate company entity is liable in the death of one of its employees. That, in itself, is not the concerning part--the reason they are accountable is the kicker. The employee in question died, on a business trip, suffering a heart attack following a sexual encounter.
According to a report filed by the New York Time, the incident in question occurred in February of 2013. The deceased individual, referred to as "Xavier" in the court's documents, was employed with TSO, a Paris based railway company, as a security technician.
During a work-related excursion in central France, Xavier met and had sexual relations with an unidentified female, before eventually returning to his hotel. Hours later, Xavier suffered from and died from a heart attack, that was confirmed to be caused by and linked to the sexual encounter.
The death was officially ruled as a workplace accident by a French health insurance provider, a decision that TSO subsequently attempted to appeal. TSO stated in their appeal that the employee's death "occurred when he had knowingly interrupted his mission for a reason solely dictated by personal interest." They went on to say that the adulterous relationship with the unknown stranger was an act independent of his job and his employment.
The insurance provider argued a different point. It took the position that sexual intercourse: “is a matter of everyday life, like taking a shower or having a meal.” And as such is to be covered by health insurance in the same manner that any other behavior on a work-related trip would be. The insurance company also noted that Xavier’s employer had failed to present any evidence that Xavier had indeed “interrupted” his work schedule to in fact have relations with the unknown woman.
In a statement by the Paris Court of Appeals, who subsequently upheld the insurance providers original decision, the court noted as well that: “it is common ground that sexual intercourse is an act of everyday life.”
The ruling from the French court was handed down in May of 2019. However, the case is just now making the headlines. A French attorney who specializes in labor law, Sarah Balluet, just last week shared copies of the court records on the media site LinkedIn.
The courts ruling supporting the insurance companies decision is reported to possibly garner Xavier's family a compensation amount that is yet undisclosed.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Is this recent ruling in the French courts, possibly the beginning of a slippery slope?