The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Lawsuit over beating that left San Francisco Giants fan with brain damage goes to jury

  • Print

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Jurors in a high-profile negligence lawsuit against the Los Angeles Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt were asked Thursday to decide who was responsible for a beating that left a San Francisco Giants fan with devastating brain damage.

The case filed on behalf of Bryan Stow was placed in the hands of jurors after closing arguments. They deliberated for three hours and left for the day without reaching a verdict. They were to resume talks on Friday.

Stow's lawyer Tom Girardi contended the team and McCourt had failed to provide enough security to keep Stow 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."

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

Girardi implored the jury to award $37.5 million in damages and double that amount for pain and suffering.

Defence attorney Dana Fox countered that there was more security than at any other Dodgers opening day in history, and no one could have prevented the assault on Stow as he walked to a spot to catch a cab.

He insisted the team and McCourt were blameless and Stow should receive nothing.

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

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

The closing arguments came a day after Stow sat in his wheelchair in court where jurors could see ghastly scars on his head where his skull had been temporarily removed during medical treatment.

Stow, 45, a former paramedic from Northern California, didn't testify and was not in the courtroom Thursday. His family, however, occupied a front row.

Girardi described him to jurors as one of the nicest people he has represented and said, "We hope to get a little justice out of this."

Girardi has said Stow has no memory of the catastrophic events and had to be told Wednesday why he was sitting in the courtroom.

Fox insisted that responsibility for the beating in a parking lot belonged to Dodger fans Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, who pleaded guilty to charges filed in the attack.

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

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

Fox showed jurors huge blow-up pictures of Sanchez and Norwood and pointed to them as the culprits. He also noted that Stow has never sued them.

Girardi asserted that there should have been more uniformed police officers at the stadium. If security officers had been on the job, they would have ousted the rowdy Sanchez during the game and there would have been no assault, he said.

Girardi also suggested that the jury assign 100 per cent of the fault for the beating to the team.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • Two Canada geese fly Wednesday afternoon at Oak Hammock Marsh- Front bird is banded for identification- Goose Challenge Day 3- - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google