The sleek, all-glass exteriors that distinguish Apple stores around the world have landed the computer giant in the headlines, and in court.
New York grandmother Evelyn Paswall is suing the Calif.-based company for $1 million after she walked into the glass door at one of Apple’s Long Island locations and broke her nose. The 83-year-old was returning an iPhone at the company’s Manhasset store on Dec. 13, 2011, when the injury occurred, according to the New York Post.
Paswall’s suit claims the company does not do enough to warn customers, particularly the elderly, about its stores’ exteriors.
“My client is an octogenarian. She sees well, but she did not see any glass,” her attorney, Derek T. Smith, told the Post.
“Apple wants to be cool and modern and have the type of architecture that would appeal to the tech crowd. But on the other hand, they have to appreciate the danger that this high-tech modern architecture poses to some people,” Smith said.
The suit, filed in the U.S. Eastern District federal court, claims that, “The defendant was negligent . . . in allowing a clear, see-through glass wall and/or door to exist without proper warning.”
The Post reports that, as of this weekend, the Manhasset store had small white warning strips on the glass exterior. Paswell’s attorney did not confirm whether or not the warning strips were in place at the time of his client’s accident, but said they are still not enough to protect elderly customers like Paswell.
“The stereotypical Apple customer is a Gen-Y person or a teenager or a college student, but they have to realize that the elderly generation are their customers, too,” he said.
Reached for comment today by ABCNews.com, Smith said he stood by his comments to the Post and that neither he nor Paswell would be making any additional comments at this time.
Workers at the Apple store in Manhasset also declined comment.
While there have been previously reported incidents of accidents occurring at Apple stores, this is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind against the company.
A March 2010 surveillance video from inside an unknown Apple store showed a woman falling backwards to the floor after she struck a glass wall while trying to avoid an iPhone window display. Last year a woman walked into the glass front of an Apple store in Lincoln Park, Ill., while waiting in line for the store’s grand opening.