Family of clerk killed in robbery sues convenience store

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 21, 2009, 1:17pm

GALVESTON - The family of a Galveston convenience store clerk killed in a robbery last year is suing the business and its owner.

Mosammat Shahina Razu and Mohammed Meje, the late Abdul H. Heje's widow and son respectively, are suing ABHI Enterprises Inc., which is doing business as Galveston Seawall Citgo, and Stripes LLC, the store's property owner, over inadequate security at the establishment where the decedent worked.

"The risk of a crime of violence occurring on the premises in question was reasonably foreseeable to the defendants, however, they failed to exercise ordinary care in providing for the safety of their tenants, employees, and invitees, in view of, and commensurate with, this risk," the suit says.

It was filed Dec. 15 in Galveston County District Court.

Abdul H. Meje, 40, died the morning of Jan. 31, 2008, after four armed men walked into the store and demanded money.

Court papers say one of the robbers shot the clerk in the chest behind the checkout counter.

The Galveston County Daily News reported the same day that two bullets were retrieved from Meje's body during an autopsy.

The defendants are ultimately accused of failing to adequately assess the crime demographics of the immediate area surrounding the facility and failing to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition.

"The defendants knew, or reasonably should have known of the foregoing dangers which posed an unreasonable risk of harm," the suit says.

"Their failure to exercise ordinary care to protect Mr. Meje from the danger and condition of the property by both failing to warn of the condition and failing to make the condition safe proximately caused the death of Mr. Meje for which the defendants are liable."

Consequently, the plaintiffs are suing for pain and suffering, mental anguish, losses of companionship and inheritance and various expenses.

They also request a jury trial.

Houston attorneys Pierce M. Adkins and Bradley L. Leger are representing the plaintiffs.

The case has been assigned to Galveston Counfy 10th District Court Judge David Garner.

Case No. 09CV2313

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