Bryan Stow Dodgers Civil Lawsuit Now In Hands Of The Jury - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Bryan Stow Dodgers Civil Lawsuit Now In Hands Of The Jury

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 / AP) A lawsuit that drew attention to violence at sports venues is in the hands of a jury which must decide who is to blame for a beating at Dodger Stadium that left a Giants fan with brain damage. A lawyer for the severely disabled Bryan Stow said in final arguments that the Los Angeles Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt were negligent in providing adequate security for the opening day game in 2011. Tom Girardi asked that Stow be paid $37.5 million for his lifetime care and double that amount for pain and suffering.

A lawyer for the team and McCourt said Stow should get nothing.

Jurors deliberated for three hours after receiving the case Thursday and were to resume Friday.

Girardi contended the team and McCourt failed to provide enough security to keep Stow and other fans safe at the Opening Day game in 2011 between the state rivals.

"Dodger Stadium got to a place where it was a total mess," Girardi told jurors. "There was a culture of violence. Beer sales were off the charts."

Defense attorney Dana Fox, said the true culprits were Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, Dodger fans who beat Stow and have pleaded guilty. They were not sued, he noted.

"There were three parties responsible - Sanchez, Norwood and, unfortunately, Stow himself. There were things Mr. Stow did that put these things in action," Fox said.

He cited testimony that Stow's blood-alcohol level was .18 percent - more than twice the legal limit for driving - and a witness account of Stow yelling in the parking lot with his arms up in the air.

"You don't get yourself this drunk and then say it's not your fault," said Fox.

Girardi said the blame lay with the Dodgers organization and McCourt who failed to provide adequate security on a day when they expected emotions to run high among fans.

He also said, "The only thing Bryan Stow was doing was wearing a jersey that said 'Giants.'"

Fox countered that there was more security than at any other Dodgers opening day in history.

Stow made a touching appearance at the trial Wednesday in his wheelchair and jurors were able to see the ghastly scars on his head where his skull was temporarily removed during treatment.

"We would be heartless and inhuman not to feel sympathy for Mr. Stow," Fox told jurors. "These are life-altering injuries."

However, he reminded jurors they had promised not to let sympathy influence their verdict.

Stow, 45, a former paramedic from Northern California, didn't testify and was not in the courtroom during final arguments.

From Sandra Endo:

It's the first full day of jury deliberations today in the Bryan Stow civil case as closing arguments wrapped up yesterday.

The 2011 beating victim contends the Dodgers and former team owner Frank McCourt didn't have adequate security at the ball park that opening day.

The San Francisco Giants fan was attacked in the parking lot after the game by Dodgers fans Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood. The two men pleaded guilty in January and are serving time in prison.

The Dodgers argue they spent more money than usual on security at that game and say the attackers are solely to blame.

Stow is seeking more than 36 million dollars in damages. The father of two suffered permanent brain damage and doctors testified he lost 10 years of his life because of the assault.

During the five week trial the dodgers legal team made references to last years Boston marathon bombing to show no event is 100 percent safe.


Great trials are like great theatre, full of dramatics, key moments, triumphs and failures. Only it’s not entertainment, because it involves real people, real lives, real trauma real loss, real money, real pain.

The lawsuit Bryan Stow’s family has brought against the Dodgers and Frank McCourt is all of that. Stow of course is the now 45-year-old Giants fan who was nearly beaten to death in parking lot 2, opening night, 2011. Two men, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, are in state prison for the assault. Stow is, in effect, sentenced to a wheelchair for live, brain damaged and needing around the clock care.

The question the 6 men and 6 women of the jury must decide is who’s responsible. Yes we know Sanchez and Norwood it, but the Stow family claims the lack of security personnel during the game, when those two were drunk and disorderly in the stands and should have been thrown out, and after when the security guards assigned to that lot apparently weren’t where they were supposed to be when Stow got assaulted meant the Dodgers and Frank McCourt were negligent and must pay. How much? More than $30 million, the largest amount of that, $25 million for future medical expenses.

Pain and suffering? Double it says Stow family attorney Tom Girardi. "Hold on" say the Dodgers. Yes Stow was hurt, terribly hurt, and yes we should feel bad for him and his family, but it wasn’t the Dodgers fault. It was the two men who are now in prison for it.

"No event is ever 100 % safe", said attorney Dana Fox. He even brought up the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 and even further back the attempted assassination of then President Reagan in 1981 as examples of how crimes happen, despite reasonable precautions.  Fox said to jurors to feel sympathy for Stow but don’t confuse that with the legal question of responsibility.

Jurors have a tough job ahead of them, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Remember, in a civil trial, it’s not unanimous, it just has to be 9 out of 12, and the standard of proof is less than "beyond a reasonable doubt" in a criminal trial, here it’s whether something was "more likely than not" to be the truth. So what’s "the truth"? That’s always the question, isn’t it?

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