Woman seeks damages after fall at store

August 06, 1993

A 73-year-old Catonsville woman has filed a $300,000 lawsuit against Woodward & Lothrop Inc., claiming a dress rack tripped her, causing her to fall and fracture a shoulder, knee and toe in the Columbia store.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Howard County Circuit Court, Alice Fruge, of the 200 block of Glen Rae Drive, alleges she was injured on April 15, 1992, in the store in the Columbia Mall on Little Patuxent Parkway.

As she walked through an aisle, she tripped on a protruding dress rack, the suit says.

The store "was careless, reckless and otherwise negligent by failing to position its clothes racks in such a way so as to ensure . . . reasonable safety," the suit says.

Joyce Keil-Chafin, director of risk management and safety for the Washington, D.C.-based company, said it had not received a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment.

Thomas P. Ross Jr., one of Mrs. Fruge's attorneys, said his client lost time from her job as a private contractor and underwent three months of therapy for a fractured knee, a fractured left toe and a fractured shoulder from the fall. She is seeking $300,000 in damages.

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