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See-through storefront at Apple sparks premises liability suit

Atlanta residents know that the Apple company is known for many things, including the stylish, sleek design of its products and stores. However, some people are saying that Apple's storefronts--complete with signature glass architecture--are not as much chic as they are dangerous.

One woman has filed a $1 million premises liability suit against the company after she accidentally walked into the glass door at one Apple location, breaking her nose. According to the lawsuit, the woman was not able to see the door as she approached it.

The woman, who was hurt at a Long Island Apple Store, has said the company was negligent by failing to consider the elderly in its slick concept stores. Elderly people, the suit alleges, as well people of any age with poor vision, may not be able to recognize the glass storefront, and are thus at risk for injury.

The woman has said the store should add some kind of marker onto the glass to provide patrons with a warning that there is a closed door. A news report said that the Long Island location does now have small white warning strips on the glass, but the news reporter was unaware of whether these were there when the woman walked into the door last winter.

The results of this case remain to be seen, but when a retail store fails to protect customers from hazards on its property, it may be held accountable for any injuries. Although hazards are not always foreseeable to management, this does not mean that they do not exist.

Premises liability attorneys often work with people who are injured on another person or company's property to determine whether any negligence contributed to the accident. Through premises liability litigation, compensation is often made available to pay for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.

Source: The New York Post, "'Pane' & suffering at the Apple Store," Keiran Crowley and Todd Venezia, March 24, 2012

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