Beating victim's case against Dodgers underway

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Beating victim's case against Dodgers underway
@AlSeibPhoto catches Bryan Stow attending final day of testimony in civil case against #Dodgers and Frank McCourt. http://t.co/kZtoEZNoo6
Bryan Stow is taken from an LA hospital to one in San Francisco on May 16, 2011. Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan from Santa Cruz, Calif., was beaten in the Dodgers Stadium parking lot after the opening day game between the Giants and Dodgers.
Defendants Marvin Norwood, left, and Louie Sanchez appear during a hearing Thursday Feb. 20, 2014 in Los Angeles. The two men pleaded guilty Thursday to a 2011 beating at Dodger Stadium that left San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow brain damaged and disabled. They were immediately sentenced by an angry judge who called them cowards and the sort of people that sports fans fear when they go to games.(AP Photo/Nick Ut )
LOS ANGELES, CA, JUNE 08: Louie Sanchez listens during preliminary proceedings in Superior Court June 8, 2012. in Los Angeles, California. Superior Court judge George G. Lomeli has ordered Sanchez and co-defendant Marvin Norwood to stand trial on charges they assaulted San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium in 2011. The decision caps a six-day preliminary hearing that included dramatic testimony from witnesses who recalled Stow being assaulted as well as a recording of Norwood admitting to his mother that he was 'involved' in the opening day beating. (Photo by Irfan Khan-Pool/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY 31: Defendant Marvin Norwood looks on during his preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Superior court May 31, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Norwood and co-defendant Louie Sanchez are charged in the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium on opening day 2011. (Photo by Irfan Khan-Pool/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 18: A Los Angeles Police Department cadet hands out flyers with composite drawings of suspects in the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow to fans before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Dave Stow, the father of Bryan Stow throws out the first pitch before the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on September 3, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tony Medina/Getty Images)
Bonnie Stow, sister of beating victim Bryan Stow, wipes her eyes during a hearing Thursday Feb. 20, 2014 in Los Angeles. Two men, Marvin Norwood, and Louie Sanchez pleaded guilty Thursday to a 2011 beating at Dodger Stadium that left San Francisco Giants fan Stow brain damaged and disabled. The pair were immediately sentenced by an angry judge who called them cowards and the sort of people that sports fans fear when they go to games.(AP Photo/Nick Ut )
LOS ANGELES - MAY 18: A Los Angeles Police Department cadet hands out flyers with composite drawings of suspects in the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow to fans before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 18: San Francisco General Hospital chief of neurosurgery Dr. Geoff Manley speaks during a news conference regarding the status of severely beaten San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow on May 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. After being transferred from U.S.C. Medical Center in Southern California, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow remains in a coma after he was severely beaten following the Los Angeles Dodgers home opener against the Giants in Los Angeles. Stow remains in critical but stable condition and has responded positively to being taken off one of the five seizure drugs that he is on. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17: One of 300 billboards showing a 'wanted' poster for two suspects wanted for the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow is seen during Los Angeles Police Department chief Charlie Beck's news conference on May 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. It was announced during the news conference that the Los Angeles Dodgers have raised the reward by an additional $100,000 for a total of $200,000. Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan from Santa Cruz, California, was beaten at the Los Angeles Dodgers parking lot after the opening day game against the San Francisco Giants on March 31. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17: Los Angeles Police Department police chief Charlie Beck standing in front of one of 300 billboard showing a 'wanted' poster for two suspects wanted for the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow shows a Los Angeles Dodgers Andre Ethier #16 jersey which he said the woman driver was wearing during the getaway from Dodger Stadium at a news conference on May 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. It was announced during the news conference that the Los Angeles Dodgers have raised the reward by an additional $100,000 for a total of $200,000. Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan from Santa Cruz, California, was beaten at the Los Angeles Dodgers parking lot after the opening day game against the San Francisco Giants on March 31. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 16: Bryan Stow is loaded into an ambulance, as his neurosurgeon Dr. Gabriel Zada (R) and the medical staff watch, so he can be taken from Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to Bob Hope Airport for a trip to San Francisco General Hospital, on May 16, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan from Santa Cruz, California, was beaten at the Los Angeles Dodgers parking lot after the opening day game against the San Francisco Giants almost six weeks ago. (Photo by Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 14: Los Angeles Police Department patrol cars are deployed at Los Angeles Dodger Stadium prior to the start of the baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Large number of LAPD officesr were deployed at Dodger Stadium for the first time as part of a zero tolerance policy toward misbehaving fans in response to the opening day attack of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow two weeks ago. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 14: Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt (C) outlines new security measures at Dodger Stadium as Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck (L) and former chief William Bratton listen prior to a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Large numbers of LAPD officers are being deployed as part of a zero tolerance policy toward misbehaving fans in response to the opening day attack on San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow two weeks ago. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


BY LINDA DEUTSCH
AP SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers had insufficient security when San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was severely beaten in a Dodger Stadium parking lot after the 2011 opening day game between the California rivals, an attorney told jurors Thursday in opening statements of the trial of a lawsuit seeking damages from the team and former owner Frank McCourt.

The defense countered that there was more security than at any other Dodgers opening day and that responsibility for the injuries lay with the two men who pleaded guilty to the attack and with Stow himself for being intoxicated and exchanging taunts with the assailants.

Stow's attorney, Tom Girardi, outlined his case in a packed courtroom, but his brain-damaged client was not present.

Stow, 45, had observed jury selection from a wheelchair, but Girardi said outside court that it had been too much for the former paramedic from Northern California. He requires constant care, which his lawyers say could cost $50 million over his lifetime.

Girardi said that the Dodgers cut costs by using more non-uniformed off-duty police officers than uniformed officers, who cost more. "The deterrent effect of having an officer in blue means a lot to everybody," he said.

Girardi described a rowdy atmosphere at the game, with a crowd of 56,000 and tempers running high because of the teams' fierce rivalry.

"There was a lot of hostility," he said. "It's different than going to a night at the symphony at the Hollywood Bowl."

During the game, one of Stow's eventual assailants was throwing food and soda at people sitting near him in the stands, Girardi said. "All of the time there was this yelling and screaming and throwing stuff at these nice people there was no security," he said.

Attorney Dana Fox, representing the Dodgers and McCourt, said a capacity crowd was expected and the Dodgers took it seriously.

"The evidence is going to show in this case Mr. Stow was gravely injured because of a testosterone- and alcohol-fueled flash-fire fight in the parking lot," Fox said. "Some of this was caused by Mr. Stow, who consumed a lot of alcohol. He drank liquor and beer before the game and beer during the game."

When Stow arrived at the hospital, his blood-alcohol level was 0.149 percent, and forensics experts will show that at the time of the fight his level was between 0.16 percent and 0.20 percent, Fox said. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.

Girardi earlier told jurors that the Stow's blood-alcohol level as it related to the standard for drunken driving was irrelevant because Stow and his friends had taken a taxi to the stadium and afterward were heading to the street to take another taxi.

Fox, however, contended that "it is not legal to be drunk in public when you can't care for yourself and others."

The defense attorney said the Dodgers had assembled "the largest security force ever for an opening day in their entire history," including 437 officers and security guards, Fox said. The sworn officers included police and California Highway Patrol, and the FBI was also present because an opening day game is considered a potential target for a terrorist threat, he said.

The Los Angeles Police Department and FBI had command posts at the stadium, and the FBI also had cameras, Fox said.

The Dodgers' security cost for that day was $66,604 out of a season-long budget of $2.185 million, he said.

The team's attorney told the jury the only issue was whether the Dodgers acted reasonably or were negligent.

While Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood acted criminally and despicably in attacking Stow, the Dodgers were not responsible for their actions, Fox said.

"If they (plaintiffs) do not prove the Dodgers were a substantial factor in causing the injuries, they lose. The standard in this case is whether my clients acted reasonably," he said.

Witnesses at a preliminary hearing testified that security guards were not present in the parking lot where Stow was beaten and kicked by Sanchez and Norwood. The pair wore Dodgers gear, and Stow wore a Giants shirt.

Sanchez pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Norwood pleaded guilty to one count of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and was sentenced to four years. Both still face unrelated federal firearms charges.

Read Full Story

People are Reading