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Lawsuit filed against W over falling glass panels

Gary Dinges, Austin American-Statesman Staff

Two people injured earlier this month when a pair of glass panels fell more than 20 stories into the pool area at the W Austin are suing the hotel and operator Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.

The suit, filed late yesterday by attorney Sean Breen, alleges the hotel had been warned about potential problems with the glass prior to the June 10 incident. After the panels fell, the two hotel guests claim the W's response was inadequate, allowing three more to crash down Monday afternoon.

"One of the major concerns of my clients is that the W wasn't doing what it needed to do," Breen said. "This is clearly a serious problem."

Two weeks after they were injured, Susan Davis and Prashanth Magadi are reportedly "still removing glass from their bodies."

The suit does not seek specific damages, leaving that up to a jury to decide. Davis and Magadi also outline multiple steps in the filing that they believe should be taken to prevent further mishaps at the building, located at 200 Lavaca St. in downtown Austin.

Following Monday's incident, the hotel and developer Stratus Properties announced they would replace all 1,000 of the balcony panels. Until that work is complete, covered walkways will be installed around the building.

Officials with Stratus and the W were not immediately available to comment on the suit.

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