The woman, who was not identified, was having sex with a man described as an “acquaintance” when a glass light fixture came crashing down on her face from the wall above the bed, Australia’s Daily Telegraph reports.
The light injured her nose, mouth and a tooth, and caused "a consequent psychiatric injury" described as an adjustment disorder.
The motel room was arranged and paid for by her employer, and the woman’s lawyer is arguing that she is entitled to the same compensation as someone who slips in the shower.
But the Australian government’s workplace safety body, which rejected her compensation claim for the motel sex injury, argued that sex is not a “necessary activity” for a motel room in the same way that showering, sleeping or eating is.
The woman’s lawyer, Leo Grey, told the Australian Federal Court that this “isn’t a case about sex,” according to the Daily Telegraph.
Rather, his client should be compensated for her injuries because they were caused "during the course of her employment,” as she had booked into the motel in a country town ahead of an early meeting the next day.
"This is no different than slipping over in the shower or being bashed by a gang of thugs after a dispute over a woman," Grey said.
He also argued that sex is a “lawful sexual activity” and considered reasonable behavior for a motel room.
There is no rule barring Australian government employees from having visitors in their rooms during business trips, he said.
In his court statement, the woman's male "acquaintance" said they were "going hard,” Australian newspaper The Age reports.
"I do not know if we bump the light or it just fell off," he reportedly said.
"I think she was on her back when it happened but I was not paying attention because we are rolling around.”