Thursday, June 26, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The lawsuit against the Los Angeles Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt over the devastating beating of a San Francisco Giants fan is in the hands of the jury.
In the trial's closing arguments Thursday, the attorney for brain-damaged victim Bryan Stow asked for $37.2 million in actual damages and suggested doubling it to account for pain and suffering.
The defense argued that jurors should not find any liability and should not award any damages.
Attorney Dana Fox asserted that the blame lay with the two Dodgers fans who attacked Stow and with Stow himself. Fox cited Stow's high blood-alcohol level and a witness account of Stow yelling in the Dodger Stadium parking lot before the assault.
Stow was attacked after the 2011 opening day game between the California rivals.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
A lawyer for a San Francisco Giants fan who suffered brain damage in a beating at Dodger Stadium told a jury Thursday that the Los Angeles team failed its responsibility to keep fans safe.
Tom Girardi, an attorney for plaintiff Bryan Stow, made the claim in his closing argument at the negligence lawsuit against the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt.
"Dodger Stadium got to a place where it was total mess," Girardi said. "There was a culture of violence. Beer sales were off the charts."
The case was expected to be placed in hands of jurors for deliberations later in the day, following closing arguments by the defense.
During the testimony phase of the trial, plaintiff's lawyers called a parade of witnesses in a campaign to prove there wasn't sufficient security when the California rivals played on opening day in 2011.
"The only thing Bryan Stow was doing was wearing a jersey that said 'Giants,'" Girardi said in his argument.
The Dodgers and McCourt tried to show that the security staff was larger than ever and no one could have prevented the assault on Stow by two Dodgers fans.
Girardi said jurors must decide whether the Dodgers exercised reasonable care to protect fans, and he asserted that there should have been more uniformed police officers at the stadium.
Girardi also suggested that the jury assign 100 percent of the fault to the team.
The closing arguments came a day after Stow, who was injured in a stadium parking lot, sat front and center in court.
Stow, 45, didn't testify, but his appearance in a wheelchair showed jurors the ghastly scars on his head where his skull was temporarily removed during treatment.
Jurors also saw a brief video of the two men who went to prison for beating Stow. The defense claims Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, who pleaded guilty in the assault, were the only ones responsible for the beating.
Girardi said outside court Wednesday that the former paramedic has no memory of the events. Girardi said he has had to explain to Stow why he is sitting in court.
The plaintiffs are seeking about $50 million for Stow's lifetime care.