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La petite mort is more than a mere expression in France; it turns out it may actually constitute a compensable work injury.
According to aNew York Post article of September 10, 2019, an engineer working for a Paris railroad construction company was on a business trip in February 2013 when he suffered a fatal heart attack in his hotel. His death was determined to be an“accident du travail”—a work accident—thus allowing the deceased man’s family to claim benefits from the state and the employer. Benefits were deemed payable in the amount of 80% of the decedent’s salary until his would-be retirement age, after which his beneficiaries would be entitled to a portion of his pension.
The employer fought the determination, citing the non-work-relatedness of the married man’s activities at the time of his death, which occurred during a spontaneous round of adulterous intercourse with a local woman he had just met.
However, an appeals court decided that the victim was under continuous coverage during his business trip, thus entitling him to benefits sustained via a work-related injury. The Court equated the sexual encounter to any other “act of normal life like taking a shower or eating a meal.” Such romantics, the French.
(Editor’s note: alternate titles for this entry included “Really Dangerous Liaisons” and “French Kiss of Death”.)
Copyright 2019,Stone Loughlin & Swanson, LLP