Apple Store crash victims sue Apple over '100% preventable' crash

Posted:
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Apple, the shopping center developers, and the driver responsible for the destruction at the Apple Derby Street store in Hingham, Massachusetts, are all being sued by a coalition of victims, all saying that not enough was done to prevent the incident.

Source: AP Photo/Steven Senne
Source: AP Photo/Steven Senne


One man died and 19 were injured in the incident on November 21 when Bradley Rein drove his SUV through the store's front window. Rein has since claimed it was an accident, and Tim Cook has visited the victims.

According to the Boston Herald, an unspecified number of the victims are suing Apple and others. Sheff & Cook lawyer Doug Shef told journalists that he is representing "several" victims.

"Our experts tell us that this catastrophe was 100% preventable," Shef said. "They simply needed to place a few barriers or bollards between the parking lot traffic, which was busy holiday traffic, and the public."

The driver skipped a curb and drove about 30 feet from the road to the front window of the Apple Store. It's not clear how fast the driver was going, and he has claimed that his foot was stuck on the gas, causing the accident.

Claiming that "storefront crashes occur thousands of times per year," Sheff said that 46% of those resulted in injuries, 8% included fatalities.

"We want to right a wrong that exists," Sheff continued. Rather than suing for any specific sum, he said that the victims would "like to see more of a clarification of these kinds of safety devices and, of course, to make these families whole."

Neither Apple nor the shopping mall's owner WS Development have commented.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    It's going to come down to a few questions. 

    1.  Did Apple own the building?

    2.  Did Apple own the parking lot?

    3.  Whoever owned the property did they follow local building codes and ordinances?

    Ultimately like most lawsuits against companies of this scale and wealth everyone is hoping for a significant settlement for them but not matter to Apple. 
    muthuk_vanalingammike1jas99tdknoxdanoxfred1radarthekatFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 49
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,583member
    We want to right a wrong that exists,
    No, you want to line your pocket, you greedy SOB. 
    mike1jas99tdknoxMplsPthtradarthekatbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 49
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,436member
    DAalseth said:
    We want to right a wrong that exists,
    No, you want to line your pocket, you greedy SOB. 
    Lawyers can suck
    edited November 2022 mike1tdknoxradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 49
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,517member
    A lot of nonsense.

    People falling onto rail lines or out of windows is also 100% preventable but we somehow get by without extra measures.

    As do most pedestrians who only have the curb between them and the traffic. 
    muthuk_vanalingammike1ravnorodomjas99tdknoxMplsPradarthekatFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 5 of 49
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,583member
    genovelle said:
    DAalseth said:
    We want to right a wrong that exists,
    No, you want to line your pocket, you greedy SOB. 
    Lawyers can suck
    The thing is they don’t have to. I know a few that are good people wanting to do the right thing. But they get overshadowed by the unethical ones
    But I guess that may be true of many professions, doctor, teacher, minister, realtor, most are good, but the few that aren’t taint the rest. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 49
    It's going to come down to a few questions. 

    1.  Did Apple own the building?

    2.  Did Apple own the parking lot?

    3.  Whoever owned the property did they follow local building codes and ordinances?

    Ultimately like most lawsuits against companies of this scale and wealth everyone is hoping for a significant settlement for them but not matter to Apple. 
    Not the lawyer in the family (my Brother is) but if you operate a public facing store you are responsible in part even as a tenant. This is pretty well established in law.

    I am not a fan of tort lawyers, but many Apple Stores already have bollards in front. Saddle Creek (Germantown/Memphis) has them as do other stores I have visited. With an all glass front it would seem that having bollards would be a natural risk mitigation. We live in a time when there are many risks to pedestrians, shoppers and others that never would have been imaginable not too long ago.

    My guess is that Apple will settle out of court unless the demands are unreasonable. In a court they would lose on the facts of the case.
    FileMakerFellerbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 49
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,341member
    Like the Sun rises in the East, sue the deep pockets and anyone remotely involved and see what sticks. Reports say that the city has been considering codes that would require  stores like the Apple Stores to have these posts installed but have not acted yet. Meanwhile during MacBreak Weekly yesterday it was reported that Tim Cook has visited the store in person to comfort the employees and customers involved. Now that was a class act.
    DAalsethgregoriusmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 49
    The world would be a much safer place if all buildings designed like a jail house......NOT.
    jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 49
    Brought to you by the firm of Dewy, Cheatham, and Howe
    JapheyMplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 49
    ronnronn Posts: 567member
    Not a good look for Apple and the property owners since the back of the mall has several barriers and barriers were installed in front of the store after the crash. Will be interesting to see the negotiations and requirements between the mall owners and Apple for the Hingham location. Read elsewhere (can't find now) that the property owners did not want barriers/bollards around store fronts. Apple has several locations with barriers in the form of bollards, planters, fencing, etc.

    A recently retired Mass state rep tried for years to mandate protective barriers

    In each legislative term since 2013, Carolyn Dykema, a Holliston state representative who left the State Legislature in January, filed a bill that would mandate that barriers be placed between certain parking spaces and retail businesses. Each of her five tries died before reaching a floor vote.

    “When you start paying attention, it’s really quite shocking the number of crashes and the frequency of them,” Dykema said when reached by phone on Tuesday.
    edited November 2022 FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 49
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,583member
    The world would be a much safer place if all buildings designed like a jail house......NOT.
    Exactly.
    It’s that kind of thinking that meant that this morning I had to remove a shrink plastic seal, unscrew a cap that had one of those breakaway rings, and THEN tear off a seal glued over the mouth of the bottle, all to get at the OJ inside. I suspect that next time the bottle will be in a box that’s glued closed and the box sealed in plastic. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 49
    DAalseth said:
    The world would be a much safer place if all buildings designed like a jail house......NOT.
    Exactly.
    It’s that kind of thinking that meant that this morning I had to remove a shrink plastic seal, unscrew a cap that had one of those breakaway rings, and THEN tear off a seal glued over the mouth of the bottle, all to get at the OJ inside. I suspect that next time the bottle will be in a box that’s glued closed and the box sealed in plastic. 
    Didn’t that all start with the Tylenol murders in 1982?
    gregoriusmmknelsonronnbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 49
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,650member
    Barriers and bollards around retail store entrances are primarily installed for security and theft prevention, i.e., smash & grab robberies. They are not typically used in these installations to prevent accidental vehicle intrusion. In many cases, like Best Buy stores and gas stations that have free-standing ATMs in the lobby, the bollards are perpendicular to vehicular traffic flow. It’s no different than individuals who install metal gates on their homes doors and windows - they are there for security reasons, not to prevent a wayward Canada Goose or neighbor’s drone from crashing through a door or window in the home.

    It’s very obvious when barriers and bollards are used for safety reasons, like around gas pumps and propane storage tanks. 

    I’m 100% sure that Apple would have provided financial compensation for the victims of this crash out of concern for the victims, either directly or through liability insurance, because it occurred in their store. But the primary responsibility lies with the driver and owner of the vehicle who is required in most states, including MA with some of the toughest auto insurance requirements in the country, to carry insurance to cover personal and property damage related to the operation of the vehicle.

    If a plane, helicopter, tree, telephone pole, power line transformer, etc., crashed through the roof of the store and injured or killed someone in the store would Apple be liable because they didn’t have protective barriers mounted over the roof of their store to handle such scenarios? I don’t think so, but in any case, I’m quite certain Apple carries very high maximum liability insurance to deal with such cases.

    Getting lawyers involved and going directly after Apple is an opportunistic money grab regardless of tragic circumstances surrounding this incident. This was a tragic accident and that’s why companies and individuals pay lots of money for insurance policies to cover these unpredictable situations. Even if Apple put their stores in hardened underground bunkers their stores would not be totally safe from things like sinkholes and earthquakes. But they’d still be sued - because Apple has a lot of money and lawyers like nothing better than shaming a very public entity like Apple to hand over some of that money to them, with a small stipend set aside for the actual victims. 
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 49
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,517member
    davgreg said:
    It's going to come down to a few questions. 

    1.  Did Apple own the building?

    2.  Did Apple own the parking lot?

    3.  Whoever owned the property did they follow local building codes and ordinances?

    Ultimately like most lawsuits against companies of this scale and wealth everyone is hoping for a significant settlement for them but not matter to Apple. 
    Not the lawyer in the family (my Brother is) but if you operate a public facing store you are responsible in part even as a tenant. This is pretty well established in law.

    I am not a fan of tort lawyers, but many Apple Stores already have bollards in front. Saddle Creek (Germantown/Memphis) has them as do other stores I have visited. With an all glass front it would seem that having bollards would be a natural risk mitigation. We live in a time when there are many risks to pedestrians, shoppers and others that never would have been imaginable not too long ago.

    My guess is that Apple will settle out of court unless the demands are unreasonable. In a court they would lose on the facts of the case.
    If there was no legal requirement for protections to be in place I cannot see how Apple can be held responsible, even in part.

    They got planning permission, works licences and had it overseen by an architect. If the work got through the whole process (including municipal inspection) and conformed to legislation, what more could have been done on reasonable grounds?

    Turning the store into a bunker would be unreasonable. 

    In Spain bollards are not used to protect store customers but to deter smash and grab operations. 

    Also, statistically speaking there is probably more chance of injury to customers through the presence of other customers in the store but there are no checks for concealed weapons on entry etc. We accept this reality even in the face of the risks. 

    I hope this case does not get far if Apple simply complied with all the obligations it was required to comply with. 

    The affected parties should be looking at the driver and his insurance company for compensation. 




    muthuk_vanalingamdewmeFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 15 of 49
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,650member
    ronn said:
    Not a good look for Apple and the property owners since the back of the mall has several barriers and barriers were installed in front of the store after the crash. Will be interesting to see the negotiations and requirements between the mall owners and Apple for the Hingham location. Read elsewhere (can't find now) that the property owners did not want barriers/bollards around store fronts. Apple has several locations with barriers in the form of bollards, planters, fencing, etc.

    A recently retired Mass state rep tried for years to mandate protective barriers

    In each legislative term since 2013, Carolyn Dykema, a Holliston state representative who left the State Legislature in January, filed a bill that would mandate that barriers be placed between certain parking spaces and retail businesses. Each of her five tries died before reaching a floor vote.

    “When you start paying attention, it’s really quite shocking the number of crashes and the frequency of them,” Dykema said when reached by phone on Tuesday.
    I don’t think this is “a look” for Apple in any way. They are following all requirements imposed on them. What about all of the other stores in the mall that have unprotected entrances? Do they also have a bad look? It’s not that I’m against safety barriers at all, having seen the results of a very similar incident fairly recently in my home town, but you can’t single out and slam Apple for not doing something that they and other retailers are not required to do. Just because Apple has a lot of money doesn’t require them to follow a different set of rules or live up to implied expectations. If communities want to prevent these tragedies it’s up them to enact laws and set standards to make it happen. Everyone should have to follow the same set of rules.

    The reason why stores have barriers installed behind their stores in for theft and loss prevention. The bad guys don’t want to draw attention to their illegal activities which makes the back entrances more vulnerable. 

    Again, I’m not anti-safety and I recognize that these accidents occur more often than they should, especially in areas with a higher proportion of elderly drivers, some of whom should probably not be driving. But I also believe that we need to take a systems approach to solving the problem. I’ve spent some time working with functional safety for industrial machinery and one thing that strikes me as odd in the commercial sector is the total lack of emergency shutdown mechanisms in automobiles.

    I can’t imagine an auto maker putting a big red e-stop button on the dashboard of every new car, mostly because drivers would be unlikely to use it under emergency circumstances, but I do think that auto makers should be involved in helping to solve the unintended acceleration problem from their side as well. They can’t solve it alone, just like retrofitting passive barriers on a massive scale can’t solve the problem alone. Some level of cooperation and shared responsibility needs to be applied, including community based legal mandates, on-vehicle safety systems, applying more scrutiny to age related license renewal, and avoiding driver distraction.
    muthuk_vanalingamJinTechFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 16 of 49
    ronnronn Posts: 567member
    dewme said:
    ronn said:
    Not a good look for Apple and the property owners since the back of the mall has several barriers and barriers were installed in front of the store after the crash. Will be interesting to see the negotiations and requirements between the mall owners and Apple for the Hingham location. Read elsewhere (can't find now) that the property owners did not want barriers/bollards around store fronts. Apple has several locations with barriers in the form of bollards, planters, fencing, etc.

    A recently retired Mass state rep tried for years to mandate protective barriers

    In each legislative term since 2013, Carolyn Dykema, a Holliston state representative who left the State Legislature in January, filed a bill that would mandate that barriers be placed between certain parking spaces and retail businesses. Each of her five tries died before reaching a floor vote.

    “When you start paying attention, it’s really quite shocking the number of crashes and the frequency of them,” Dykema said when reached by phone on Tuesday.
    I don’t think this is “a look” for Apple in any way. They are following all requirements imposed on them. What about all of the other stores in the mall that have unprotected entrances? Do they also have a bad look? It’s not that I’m against safety barriers at all, having seen the results of a very similar incident fairly recently in my home town, but you can’t single out and slam Apple for not doing something that they and other retailers are not required to do. Just because Apple has a lot of money doesn’t require them to follow a different set of rules or live up to implied expectations. If communities want to prevent these tragedies it’s up them to enact laws and set standards to make it happen. Everyone should have to follow the same set of rules.

    The reason why stores have barriers installed behind their stores in for theft and loss prevention. The bad guys don’t want to draw attention to their illegal activities which makes the back entrances more vulnerable. 

    Again, I’m not anti-safety and I recognize that these accidents occur more often than they should, especially in areas with a higher proportion of elderly drivers, some of whom should probably not be driving. But I also believe that we need to take a systems approach to solving the problem. I’ve spent some time working with functional safety for industrial machinery and one thing that strikes me as odd in the commercial sector is the total lack of emergency shutdown mechanisms in automobiles.

    I can’t imagine an auto maker putting a big red e-stop button on the dashboard of every new car, mostly because drivers would be unlikely to use it under emergency circumstances, but I do think that auto makers should be involved in helping to solve the unintended acceleration problem from their side as well. They can’t solve it alone, just like retrofitting passive barriers on a massive scale can’t solve the problem alone. Some level of cooperation and shared responsibility needs to be applied, including community based legal mandates, on-vehicle safety systems, applying more scrutiny to age related license renewal, and avoiding driver distraction.
    Do the other stores in the mall have large sheets of glass for entrances? Why does Apple have barriers at many of their other stores? How many instances has Apple had of vehicles used in smash in grabs at their stores over the years? If stores "have barriers installed behind their stores in for theft and loss prevention," why not in the front which is much more vulnerable, especially in this instance with a glass wall? There will be depositions and paperwork looked over with a fine-tooth comb in search of answers to all those questions and more. This is just the beginning of the lawsuits with at least two employees already suing (although they're currently not suing Apple, just the driver and the property owners).
  • Reply 17 of 49

    Do the other stores in the mall have large sheets of glass for entrances? Why does Apple have barriers at many of their other stores? How many instances has Apple had of vehicles used in smash in grabs at their stores over the years? If stores "have barriers installed behind their stores in for theft and loss prevention," why not in the front which is much more vulnerable, especially in this instance with a glass wall? There will be depositions and paperwork looked over with a fine-tooth comb in search of answers to all those questions and more. This is just the beginning of the lawsuits with at least two employees already suing (although they're currently not suing Apple, just the driver and the property owners).
    What does having large glass windows have anything to do with this? It’s a strip mall. They all have large primarily glass entrances. That’s how retail stores work. They want to show off what they have inside. This accident didn’t happen because they have large windows. It happened because some moron, jammed his foot on the gas and went through an area he shouldn’t have. Apple is not to blame for any of this. This is purely a cash grab by greedy lawyers.


    danoxdewmethtFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 49
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,537member
    It's going to come down to a few questions. 

    1.  Did Apple own the building?

    2.  Did Apple own the parking lot?

    3.  Whoever owned the property did they follow local building codes and ordinances?

    Ultimately like most lawsuits against companies of this scale and wealth everyone is hoping for a significant settlement for them but not matter to Apple. 
    Apple doesn’t own the building more likely a lease?, that’s the way most MBA’s and Finance departments work, in companies these days don’t own anything if you can get away with it, one of the few large companies that’s known to work different is In and out Burger in the fast food area which is why they are not nation wide.
    edited November 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 49
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,537member
    ronn said:
    Not a good look for Apple and the property owners since the back of the mall has several barriers and barriers were installed in front of the store after the crash. Will be interesting to see the negotiations and requirements between the mall owners and Apple for the Hingham location. Read elsewhere (can't find now) that the property owners did not want barriers/bollards around store fronts. Apple has several locations with barriers in the form of bollards, planters, fencing, etc.

    A recently retired Mass state rep tried for years to mandate protective barriers

    In each legislative term since 2013, Carolyn Dykema, a Holliston state representative who left the State Legislature in January, filed a bill that would mandate that barriers be placed between certain parking spaces and retail businesses. Each of her five tries died before reaching a floor vote.

    “When you start paying attention, it’s really quite shocking the number of crashes and the frequency of them,” Dykema said when reached by phone on Tuesday.

    Shot down by the building-real estate lobby.
    edited November 2022 ronn
  • Reply 20 of 49
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,939member
    This is never going to trial. Apple and the plaintiffs will settle out of court for an undisclosed sum.

    It should be noted that Apple Store Palo Alto had stanchions installed several years ago (before the pandemic) due to an auto-assisted burglary attempt.

    Clearly Apple could have done more to prevent the Derby Street incident.
    ronn
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