Mia Battle v. Structure Tone (UK) Inc, Russell Investment Management Company, MetLife Inc, Equity Office Management LLC & The Blackstone Group LP

/ / Case Verdicts

Case Name

Mia Battle v. Structure Tone (UK) Inc, Russell Investment Management Company, MetLife Inc, Equity Office Management LLC & The Blackstone Group LP

Type of Injury

HERNIATED DISCS AND NERVE DAMAGE

Occupation

Union-affiliated Apprentice Carpenter

Location

Bronx, New York

Verdict

The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. Structure Tone’s insurer agreed to pay $1 million, and National Acoustics’ insurer agreed to pay $750,000. Thus, the settlement totaled $1.75 million. The negotiations were mediated by Robert Adams, of National Arbitration and Mediation Inc.

Verdict Amount

$1,750,000

Case Details

On Dec. 23, 2009, plaintiff Mia Battle, 28, a union-affiliated apprentice carpenter, worked at a renovation site that was located at 1095 Sixth Ave., in Manhattan. Battle was installing ceiling tiles. She had been provided a rolling scaffold for access to the ceiling. The scaffold collapsed during the course of Battle’s work, and Battle plummeted some 8 feet. She landed in a wheelbarrow, and she claimed that she sustained injuries of her back and a knee.

Battle sued a contractor that oversaw the renovation, Structure Tone (UK) Inc.; the premises’ owners, MetLife Inc. and Equity Office Management, LLC; the tenant that occupied the space in which Battle worked, Russell Investment Management Co.; and the renovation project’s bond holder, The Blackstone Group L.P. Battle alleged that the defendants violated the New York State Labor Law.

The defendants impleaded Battle’s employer, National Acoustics Inc. The first-party defendants alleged that National Acoustics controlled and directed Battle’s work.

Equity Office Management, MetLife, Russell Investment Management and the Blackstone Group were dismissed. The matter proceeded against National Acoustics and Structure Tone.

Battle claimed that the scaffold tipped and collapsed while she was stepping onto its platform, from its attached ladder. She contended that the scaffold was unstable and therefore unsuitable for the task that she was performing. She noted that the scaffold and its ladder lacked protective railings.

Battle’s counsel contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law § 240(1), and that Battle was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.

Defense counsel contended that the scaffold was safe. They also contended that the accident was a result of Battle’s failure to properly center herself on the scaffold’s platform.