Rose Bruton was 82 years old when she died on October 31, 2016. She and her husband had lived in Kirbyville for 46 years before moving to Beaumont in 2015. According to her obituary, “Rose loved reading, gardening, shopping, and volunteering at Kirbyville Christian Outreach and the Kirbyville Public Library [and] was very active in her church.”

Less than two weeks before her passing, on October 19, 2016, Bruton went to the Beaumont Olive Garden off of I-10, tripped on the sidewalk outside the restaurant, fell, and was seriously injured.

This past January, her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurant, seeking more than $1 million in damages.

“As … Bruton walked along the sidewalk, suddenly and without warning, she caught her toe and tripped on an elevated and un-level sidewalk, causing her to fall to the ground,” the family's suit alleges.

“Bruton landed violently on the ground face-first,” the suit continues. “As a result of the fall, Bruton broke her neck and sustained other serious personal injuries requiring extensive surgery and operations.”

The family accuses Olive Garden of negligence in failing to maintain its premises and warn customers of an allegedly dangerous condition – an “un-level” sidewalk.

The injuries and partial paralysis Rose Bruton suffered from her fall no doubt contributed to her death, but the question of who's responsible for that mishap is a separate matter.

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