A former driver for the Swedish UN representative is claiming $1.7 million compensation for an injury while assembling IKEA furniture for his employer.
In May 2012, fifty-two year old Carlos Figueroa was working for the late Marten Grunditz – Sweden’s former representative to the UN. Carlos was asked to drive to the IKEA store in New Jersey and purchase a wardrobe for Mr. Grunditz’s private residence.
When the wardrobe was delivered by IKEA, Carlos was told that he would have to assemble it by himself. This was despite the assembly instructions stating that the construction of the wardrobe was a two-person job.
A couple of days later, Carlos was hanging the wardrobe´s doors from a stepladder when he overbalanced and fell. He was taken to hospital with back and leg injuries, but allegedly told not to tell anyone how his injuries were sustained and who he was working for.
Carlos returned to work after recovering from surgery on his back. Unfortunately he suffered a further back injury while working for the Swedish UN Mission and, unable to stand, sit or walk for long periods of time, Carlos was signed off from work in May 2014.
Since being signed off on medical grounds, Carlos claims not to have been paid by the Swedish UN Mission. He says he has been forced to claim compensation for an injury while assembling IKEA furniture because he is unable to support himself and has fallen into debt.
Lawyers representing the Swedish UN Mission argue that he has no right to compensation for an injury while assembling IKEA furniture. Frederick Braid told reporters that Carlos’ injury claim was “without merit” and would not be upheld in court.
Braid is also aiming to have a related claim for constructive dismissal due to discrimination dismissed on the grounds of diplomatic immunity. The Manhattan judge handling the claim for compensation for an injury while assembling IKEA furniture has said he will give an opinion in the next couple of weeks.