VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The mother of a woman who was killed by a Norfolk man is suing the Virginia Beach bar where he drugged her.
Kathy Paton filed a $20 million lawsuit against Seaside Raw Bar and its owner on July 10. Her daughter, Kelsey Paton, died of an overdose at Michael Ebong’s apartment after he drugged her while she was at the bar on July 11, 2021.
The 30-year-old was the second woman to overdose and die in Ebong’s home. Eight months before, police were called to the apartment and discovered 36-year-old Sheena West dead from an overdose. Ebong drugged West at Central Shore and took her to his apartment against her will.
Ebong was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in both of the deaths in September 2022. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in the fall.
The lawsuit states that Kelsey Paton had two beers at a Tides baseball game with her father and sister on the evening of July 10, 2021. Around midnight, she drove to C.P. Shuckers Cafe and Raw Bar, where she was a regular, and told a bartender she was leaving her car in the restaurant’s parking lot. She did not drink at C.P. Shuckers, but instead went to Seaside Raw Bar, where Ebong drugged her against her will and took her to his apartment without her consent.
The lawsuit alleges that the bar owner and his staff are responsible in Kelsey Paton’s death because they should have known that Ebong drugged at least one other woman at Seaside Raw Bar on May 19, 2021. He took that woman to his apartment where he sexually assaulted her. She survived, and Ebong was convicted of sexually assaulting her in September 2022. The lawsuit also alleges that Seaside Raw Bar staff failed to protect Kelsey Paton from Ebong.
10 On Your Side’s investigative team reached out to the owner of Seaside Raw Bar for comment twice, but didn’t receive a response by the time of publication.
This is the second lawsuit Kathy Paton has filed in her daughter’s death. She’s also filed a $7.5 million lawsuit against the City of Norfolk alleging that the police department failed to properly investigate West’s death at the direction of Ebong’s mother, who was a civilian working for the department. The lawsuit alleges that if Norfolk police had investigated West’s death, Ebong would have been arrested and unable to kill Paton.
In a statement, the City of Norfolk denied that police obstructed justice in West’s case.