New York Woman Amends Complaint Against Apple Related to Alleged Injuries from Glass Wall
June 11, 2012

by Erica Terrini, eterrini@glass.com

New York resident Evelyn Paswall, 82, has amended a complaint filed earlier this year against California-based Apple Inc. related to injuries she allegedly sustained when she walked into a glass wall at the company's Manhasset, N.Y., store. Among the changes in the latest complaint are the removal of the her request for $1 million and several new specific references to New York's building code related to the use of transparent glass in commercial buildings.

Amendments to Paswall's complaint include allegations that Apple Inc. violated a rule within Title 12 of the New York Industrial Code titled "Transparent Glass Doors in Mercantile Establishments and in Public and Commercial Buildings and Structures."

The rule alleges transparent glass doors and adjacent walls of buildings have caused "accidental injuries and deaths" and therefore must be regulated via proper marking, according to the complaint.

"Transparent glass doors and fixed adjacent transparent glass sidelights shall be marked in two areas … One area shall be located at least 30, but not more than 36 inches and the other 60, but more than 66 inches above the ground, floor or equivalent surface below the door or sidelight," writes Paswall's counsel in the amended complaint, citing the New York Industrial Code.

The new complaint further alleges that Apple Inc. did not abide by the marking requirements within the code, which caused numerous injuries as a result. Additionally, the plaintiff's complaint alleges Apple was aware of previous injuries sustained by other customers and "acted with reckless disregard" when it did not apply markings to the front entrance "despite knowing the dangers and previous injuries …"

Another amendment to the plaintiff's complaint includes a revision to the amount of damages sought by the plaintiff, which was previously $1 million, but now is "a fair and adequate amount … to be determined by the jury at the time of trial."

Apple Inc., represented by Thomas Crispi of Schiff Hardin LLP, has denied the allegations in Paswall's amended complaint. The company also makes several affirmative defenses to the allegations.

Among the affirmative defenses, Apple claims that Paswall's injuries "may be barred in whole or in part due to the fault of other parties or entities over which Apple has no control, right to control, and for those whose conduct Apple is not liable."

Additionally, Apple claims it is not liable for her injuries because "said injuries were the result of an open and obvious danger or hazard known to the plaintiff."

The company also claims the amount of damages "must be diminished by reason of the culpable conduct attributable to the plaintiff, including contributory negligence and assumption of risk, in the proportion which the culpable conduct attributable to the plaintiff bears to the culpable conduct which caused the damages."

Apple further alleges that if it is found liable, its liability should be less than or equal to 50 percent of the total liability of all who may be found liable, according to CPLR Article 16.

This story is an original story by USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
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