Apple Inc. has settled a case related to an 82-year-old woman who allegedly sustained injuries when she walked into a glass wall at the company’s Manhasset, N.Y., store in December 2011, according to documents filed in the case. Details of the settlement, made outside of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York where the case was under review, have not been disclosed.
The court was informed of the settlement through a stipulation of discontinuance, signed by attorneys for both plaintiff Evelyn Paswall and defendant Apple, noting that the action was “settled against defendant Apple Inc. and … is discontinued, with prejudice.”
Paswall, a resident of Queens, N.Y., had alleged that she was planning to return her iPhone to the store when she “walked directly into the clear glass doors at Apple’s Manhasset location and fractured her nose.”
She had further alleged that Apple 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,” which she said requires that glass doors and adjacent walls of buildings be regulated via proper marking.
“Transparent glass doors and fixed adjacent transparent glass sidelites 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 not more than 66 inches above the ground, floor or equivalent surface below the door or sidelite,” wrote Paswall’s counsel in her amended complaint, filed last June.
She also alleged that 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 …”
While Paswall originally had sought a million-dollar settlement, she had adjusted this request to “a fair and adequate amount … to be determined by the jury at the time of trial.”
A trial had been scheduled for this June, prior to the settlement.
Apple was represented by Thomas Crispi of Schiff Hardin LLP and had denied the allegations. In addition, the company had claimed it was not liable for Paswall’s injuries because “said injuries were the result of an open and obvious danger or hazard known to the plaintiff.”
The company also claimed the amount of damages should have been “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.”
At press time, attorneys for neither Paswall nor Apple had responded to requests for comment on the terms of the settlement.