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The Legal Pains Of Glass Doors

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By Amy Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. What about people who visit glass-enclosed stores?

An 83-year-old woman filed a million dollar lawsuit against Apple because she claims the all-glass façade of an Apple store was invisible, and she broke her nose walking into it.

People have excoriated her for what many think is a frivolous claim, (“imagine if she’d been carrying hot coffee!”) but in fact, glass windows and doors are such a widely-known hazard that almost all building codes require that floor-to-ceiling glass panels like sliding doors have decals or stickers so people realize they are there.

Glass is so frequently the subject of lawsuits that there is a special category of insurance for property owners based on glass injuries. The law says that if a retail establishment, which invites the public in to spend money, knows of a dangerous condition in its store it has a duty to the customers to take precautions to prevent injuries.

It doesn’t take a genius bar to figure out that not everyone can see invisible glass, and that if effective warnings like decals at eye level aren’t put in, they are likely to face the pain of lawsuits based on the window pane.

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