A tourist who visited New Mexico is suing the state and an Albuquerque company over a claim that a construction project caused her hearing loss, while the company that did the work claims the lawsuit is “frivolous.”
The lawsuit was filed in Santa Fe District Court earlier this month, stemming from an incident that’s said to have taken place in April 2016 inside the New Mexico State Capitol building.
According to the lawsuit, a California woman, Amy Eber, was visiting the Roundhouse in April 2016 to look at the art and architecture inside the building when her hearing was allegedly damaged by nearby construction.
“It’s completely changed her life,” said Erika Anderson, an Albuquerque attorney representing Eber in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit states that Eber walked by the information and security counters near one of the entryways when she heard a loud sound from where a contractor was working to install equipment.
“They were using an industrial tool on steel that ended up making… just this horrendous loud noise and Ms. Eber, unfortunately, suffered damage to her ear immediately,” said Anderson.
Eber is asking for damages from the state and the Albuquerque company that’s said to have done the work. Anderson claims Eber continues to suffer from injuries today, saying activities like flying are difficult, even volunteer work Eber used to do with birds of prey.
“She has hearing loss, she has severe pain now every time she’s subjected to a loud noise,” said Anderson. “It’s just been a very significant life-changing event.”
The Albuquerque IT company named in the lawsuit, APIC Solutions is defending itself against the lawsuit.
The company’s CEO, Jesse Pickard sent a statement to KRQE News 13 Monday afternoon, calling the lawsuit “frivolous,” and “a ridiculous claim.”
Pickard also pointed the company’s safety record, calling it “unblemished” for a period of “over six years.”
“I can confirm that APIC Solutions installed a new surveillance system in the Roundhouse when the alleged incident occurred. APIC Solutions currently has over a hundred employees and an unblemished safety record for over six years. The New Mexico attorneys for the Plaintiff in this case should be ashamed of themselves for wasting the precious tax dollars it will take defending such a ridiculous claim. My hope is that the defending legal teams will show the Plaintiff and her “attorneys” that this type of frivolous litigation may be acceptable in California but not in here in the Land of Enchantment.”
— Jesse Pickard, CEO of APIC Solutions.
The New Mexico General Services Department, which oversees the care of the Roundhouse, did not respond to KRQE News 13’s request for comment.
Meanwhile, the New Mexico Occupational Health Safety Board (commonly referred to as OSHA) says it never received a formal complaint about the alleged construction incident.