Apple, Glass Doors and the $1 Million Broken Nose

By: Michael Seinberg

For 83-year old Evelyn Paswell, modern architecture seems to be a problem. Paswell walked into the clear glass front door of the Manhassat, Long Island Apple Store on December 13 and broke her nose. Paswell, a Queens grandmother and former fur company vice president is now suing Apple for $1 million. 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.” Shouldn’t she also be suing the creator of glass?

The scary part is that while she might not be able to see the glass in front of her, she’s, by her own admission still quite with it. “I may be elderly, but I’m very active, and I’m still driving too!” she was quoted as saying. Should she be? And why was she at the store in the first place? She was returning an iPhone.

This is the perfect example of the type of suit that is clogging NY’s court system and costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year in wasted court costs. But Paswell’s lawyer sees this as perfectly legitimate. “Apple wants to be cool and modern and have the type of architecture that would appeal to the tech crowd,” said her attorney, Derek T. Smith. “But on the other hand, they have to appreciate the danger that this high-tech modern architecture poses to some people.” Really? What about the danger attorneys like Mr. Smith pose to everyone? Thanks to him and other trial lawyers, we now need warning labels on virtually every product made. When someone last checked, there are now small white stickers on the doors at the Apple store to help fend off other lawsuits.

To put it bluntly, this suit should be tossed out quickly and Smith and Paswell should be held liable for any court costs involved. Of course, what Mr. Smith probably hasn’t bargained for is that Apple’s cadre of lawyers will likely do far worse to him and his client. In the meantime, the court of public opinion has already ruled the suit a joke. The only hope for us all is that Paswell doesn’t stop by a McDonalds and order coffee on her way home from court.

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