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Pair of settlements stemming from injuries at state Capitol cost New Mexico $530,000

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A pair of settlements related to injuries from officials that occurred four and six years ago at the state Capitol cost New Mexico's Legislative Council Service over $500,000.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported on Friday that the former president of the American Federation of Teachers-New Mexico reached a $500,000 settlement with the state's Legislative Council Service stemming from injuries she sustained after falling on a stairway at the state Capitol. Stephanie Ly said in the lawsuit that she was permanently disfigured from the incident, though the lawsuit did not describe Ly's injuries or the conditions that led to them, according to the New Mexican.

"I don't know what the right verb is to use, whether it was tripped or what, but she ended up having a mishap on the stairs where she ends up falling and breaking her fall with her head," Democratic state Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, who was walking with Ly at the time, told the New Mexican.

Ivey-Soto added that Ly was "knocked out initially, and then when she came to, she was dazed and confused and had trouble speaking through the blood coming from her mouth."

A New Mexico state lawmaker also reached a $30,000 settlement with the state four years after being crushed by doors that were newly installed at the state Capitol.

The Santa Fe New Mexican also reported that Democratic state Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, of Albuquerque, claimed that she was "severely injured" in January 2020 when she used her keycard to get through a door. The lawsuit states that the door "closed abruptly and forcefully on the left side of her body, causing her to suffer injuries." The state had just installed new doors in the Capitol, along with the keycard system.

The lawsuit alleges that the building superintendent later told Roybal Caballero the door had been installed incorrectly, which caused it to "snap closed unexpectedly."

About $25,000 of the settlement will be used to reimburse people who provided care or helped pay after the injury, which could include medical professionals and insurance companies, according to the New Mexican.