Opening statements were underway this morning in the civil trial of a San Francisco Giants fan suing the Los Angeles Dodgers because he was brutally beaten outside the baseball team’s stadium after the 2011 season opener.
Bryan Stow, 45, and his family are suing the Dodgers and former team owner Frank McCourt in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging that the team did not provide adequate security for the March 31 game and failed to prevent a beating that left Stow in a coma for months and with permanent brain damage.
The suit alleges that Stow and his friends were taunted throughout the game because they were Giants fans and that Dodgers team security failed to intervene. Stow sent a text message to his family at about 7 p.m. while the game was still going on expressing concern for his safety.
He left the game after the Dodgers’ 2-1 victory and the threats continued outside. The lawsuit alleges that the taxi stand where Stow was standing was dimly lit with no security present. He was attacked and hit in the head multiple times.
It took 10-15 minutes for Dodgers security personnel to arrive at the scene, according to the suit.
The Dodgers, “with full knowledge of these dangerous conditions, carelessly cut funds for security forces at Dodger Stadium,” the lawsuit alleges.
“This lack of proper security, inadequate conditions, knowledge of criminal elements, and the promotion of alcohol in the stadium and surrounding parking lot was the substantial factor that” led to Stow’s injury, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs allege not only that there is inadequate security at Dodgers Stadium, but that there is more criminal activity there than at any other Major League Baseball stadium.
The Dodgers have previously argued publicly that Stow cannot prove any link between additional security steps and preventing the attack and that the team had no knowledge of inappropriate conduct by the attackers.
The case was held up for years while the team worked through bankruptcy proceedings and was sold to new ownership.
Stow, a Santa Cruz paramedic and father of two, has racked up extensive medical bills from the injuries he suffered in the attack.
The Giants and Dodgers have held fundraisers for Stow over the last three years, but last year Stow had to return home rather than stay in a live-in facility after his insurance refused to continue paying for it. He is expected to require 24-hour medical care for the rest of his life.
The suit seeks the reimbursement of Stow’s medical bills, legal fees, reimbursement of donors to Stow’s recovery and other unspecified damages.
Stow’s two attackers were sentenced to prison earlier this year. On Feb. 20, Louie Sanchez, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem, while Marvin Norwood, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of assault.
Sanchez was sentenced to eight years behind bars, while Norwood was sentenced to four years, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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