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Apple Gets Sued for Being 'Too Sleek'

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Over the years, Apple (AAPL) has been accused of a lot of things: engaging in anti-competitive practices, having a stranglehold over portable music, setting superficially high prices, and committing labor abuses in Chinese factories -- just to name a few. But never, in its wildest dreams, would Cupertino imagine having to head off criticism for being too sleek.

That issue is at the heart of a lawsuit filed against Apple this week by an 83-year-old grandmother who injured herself in December on her way inside a Long Island, New York Apple store. Failing to distinguish the store’s signature glass architecture from, apparently, the surrounding parking lot, Evelyn Paswall smacked, face first, into the door and broke her nose. She is suing for $1 million in medical expenses and punitive damages for negligence “in allowing a clear, see-through glass wall and/or door to exist without proper warning.”

“Apple wants to be cool and modern and have the type of architecture that would appeal to the tech crowd,” argued her attorney, Derek T. Smith to the New York Post. “But on the other hand, they have to appreciate the danger that this high-tech modern architecture poses to some people.”

With a stockpile of on-hand cash that could support the state of California for an entire year, it could be argued that Apple is a pretty enticing target for the litigiously inclined. Earlier this month, in fact, a Brooklyn man named Frank M. Fazio filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple for false advertising, alleging its iPhone 4S commercials misrepresent the extent of the Siri feature’s functionality.

Still, Paswall may have a legitimate case. And, as it turns out, face-planting into Apple’s floor-to-ceiling glass isn’t a uniquely octogenarian problem.

“I’m not surprised this happened,” claimed a commenter on “When I worked at [A]pple retail, someone would walk right into the glass door in the morning before we opened or in the evening after we closed at least ONCE a week. I’ve seen people both young and old walk straight into the glass even with the markers on the window.”

If you don’t believe him, allow me to refer you to exhibit A.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.