Suit against Office Depot claims fall on unsecured rug led to woman's death

David Yates Mar. 20, 2008, 9:00am

A Jefferson County man is alleging that an improperly secured rug led to the death of his 70-year-old wife.

Ruth Strecher tripped over a rug at the entrance to Office Depot in Beaumont. Her husband Charles Strecher claims Office Depot and its manager, Jerry Smith, failed to make sure its entrance was safe and secure. He filed suit on Ruth Stecher's behalf on March 19 in the Jefferson County District Court.

According to the plaintiff's petition, Ruth was shopping at Office Depot on April 27, 2006, when she tripped over the "improperly secured rug."

"As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of defendants, Ruth Stecher suffered injuries and subsequently died on June 17, 2001," the suit said.

"Ruth Stecher was 70 years of age at the time of her death, was in good health and enjoyed an active, industrious and energetic life," the suit said, adding that Ruth's untimely death deprived her family of her companionship.

The suit continues by alleging Office Depot and its manager allegedly negligently failed to maintain the entrance doorway, secure the rug, inspect the premises for dangerous defects, remedy the dangerous condition and warn customers.

"Decedent suffered great physical and mental pain and anguish through the time of her death," the suit said. "Plaintiff seeks recovery for Ruth's conscious pain and suffering caused by defendants' negligence."

The plaintiff is seeking more than $100,000 in damages.

He is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by attorney Adam Terrell of the Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell law firm.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D181-457

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