Woman struck by stray bullet sues nightclub

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A Texarkana woman who was hit by a stray bullet while watching boxing matches at the Paradise Club in May recently filed a lawsuit in Miller County.

Brandi Coody was inside the Paradise Club in the 2500 block of East Ninth Street in Texarkana, Ark., when she was struck by a bullet meant for someone else, according to a complaint filed in Miller County on her behalf by Arkadelphia, Ark., attorney Russell Marlin of the Taylor King law firm. Coody was at the club with her boyfriend who was participating in a boxing tournament May 9, the complaint states.

Coody’s suit alleges the club was crowded past the capacity set by the city’s fire marshal when a fight broke out at about 1:45 a.m. A bullet fired outside the club went through a wall and hit Coody. At the time of the shooting in May, Texarkana, Ark., police reported that Coody ,29, was unconscious and suffering from a collapsed left lung. Shell casings were recovered from a nearby intersection but a suspect was never identified and no arrest made.

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Coody’s lawsuit accuses the Paradise Club of negligence for failing to keep the business premises safe. Club owners and operators should have enforced the limits on occupancy imposed by the fire marshal, should have employed more and better trained security and should have taken other measures to insure the safety of club patrons, the suit alleges.

Coody is seeking actual damages for the injuries she suffered as a result of being shot, damages for past and future pain and suffering and an award for lost wages. Coody is also asking that the court award her punitive damages.

The Paradise Club was served with a copy of Coody’s complaint last week and has not yet filed a response. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Brent Haltom.

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