Lawsuits claim negligence in Massachusetts Apple store crash

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FILE - An SUV rests inside an Apple store behind a large hole in the glass front of the store on Nov. 21, 2022, in Hingham, Mass. The family of a man who was badly hurt when an SUV crashed into an Apple store in Massachusetts, killing one person and injuring 20, sued the company, the driver and the property owners Tuesday, Nov. 29, in one of the first lawsuits filed over the crash. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON – The family of a man who was badly hurt when an SUV crashed into an Apple store in Massachusetts, killing one person and injuring 20, sued the company, the driver and the property owners Tuesday in one of the first lawsuits filed over the crash.

Matthew Timberger, of Falmouth, suffered broken bones and other serious injuries when the vehicle drove into the store in Hingham on Nov. 21, the lawsuit said. He and his family accuse the driver of negligently operating the vehicle, and Apple and the property owners of negligently failing to place barriers that might have prevented a car from entering the store.

“The frontage of the Apple Store features tall glass windows and doors, reaching all the way to the ground. These glass windows and doors are not designed or engineered or reinforced in such a way where they would act as an effective barrier against a moving motor vehicle,” the lawsuit said.

Neither Apple nor property owners and managers WS Development immediately responded to messages seeking comment.

Doug Sheff, an attorney for the family, said that while there were no protective barriers in front of the store, the shopping plaza did have them in front of electrical fixtures and trash receptacles behind the building.

Two store employees have also sued over the crash, though they did not name Apple as a defendant.

Driver Bradley Rein has pleaded not guilty to charges that he was reckless when the SUV crashed through the window.

Rein told police he was looking for an eyeglass store at the shopping center when his right foot became stuck on the accelerator, according to court documents. He said he used his left foot to try to brake but couldn’t stop the vehicle.

A phone number could not be located for Rein, who was being represented by a public defender on the criminal charges. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer representing him in the lawsuits.

The Timberger family, including Timberger's wife, Christina, and their two children, are seeking damages that include compensation for his injuries, lost earnings and harm to their family relationships.