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Ventura County

Jury Awards Victim of Bar Shooting $521,000

Courts: A Ventura tavern owner and her son, the gunman, are found liable.

July 02, 2002|JESSICA BLANCHARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Ventura man who was hospitalized for a month after a bar shooting has won $521,224 from the bar's owner and her son.

Adam Stroud had filed suit in Ventura County Superior Court, contending that Dorothy Walbridge, owner of the Red Cove in the 1800 block of East Main Street in Ventura, failed to provide adequate security at the bar the night of June 23, 2000.

Stroud was shot by Walbridge's son, Christopher Marquez, 32, who is serving a 24-year sentence in the incident.

According to police reports, Marquez left the bar after getting into a brawl with several other patrons before Stroud had arrived.

Marquez returned with a gun and shot Stroud twice, once in his right arm and once in the abdomen.

Stroud, 26 at the time, was hospitalized for a month and accumulated $71,224 in medical bills, according to court records.

Stroud said he was hit in his pancreas and colon and still has a bullet in his abdomen.

Marquez was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced last August.

The jury in the civil case deliberated for nearly two hours last week before voting 10 to 2 to award Stroud the cost of his medical bills, plus $450,000 in noneconomic damages.

The jury decided Walbridge was responsible for 35% of the award and her son for 65%.

Walbridge did not return phone calls for comment.

Her attorney, William S. Loomis, called the judgment excessive but said it will not cause the closure of the Red Cove.

He said Walbridge bore no responsibility for the actions of any of the bar's patrons, including her son.

She has not decided whether to appeal, he said.

Court records show that the bar had been cited once by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for serving a visibly intoxicated person.

Also, the city of Ventura cited the Red Cove for a noise violation.

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