Even with the guilty pleas from the two men who attacked Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium in 2011, the Stow family's legal battles are not done.
The Dodgers stilll face a lawsuit filed by Stow and his family. The case, accusing the team's management of not adequately protecting fans, is set to go to trial by May.
Attorney Tom Girardi said the cost of Stow's care already has topped $5 million. He estimated that it will cost an additional $34 million to tend to the victim for the rest of his life. The Stows' lawsuit also seeks punitive damages and payment for pain and suffering.
Girardi said former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt's insurers, not the current team owners, would be liable for any damages.
Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez, both of Rialto, pleaded guilty to the unprovoked attack that almost killed the San Francisco Giants fan.
Norwood, 33, was sentenced to four years in prison by Judge George G. Lomeli after admitting Thursday to assault causing great bodily injury. In exchange, an earlier mayhem charge was dropped. Sanchez, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem in exchange for eight years in prison. He could have received 11 years in prison if convicted of the original charges.
The outcome offered little solace to Stow's relatives, who have been caring for him daily since he came home after spending the first two years of his recovery in hospitals and a rehabilitation facility.
"To say you got off easy is an understatement," said Stow's sister Erin Collins as she turned to face the attackers at the defense table. "Because of you both, Bryan's life was nearly taken from him and will never be the same. That also goes for his children, our parents, my sister and I, all of our family and Bryan's friends."
Stow turned 45 on Feb. 12, and his family marked the occasion with a post on the blog they maintain to keep his supporters apprised of his progress. "When asked how old he is he claims 35," the post said. "We still can't tell if he's joking or not."
Many things have been taken from Stow, his family told the court. His son, Tyler, misses playing catch with his dad. His daughter, Tabitha, would like to go for a bike ride, but her father can't manage it.
"You took my children's daddy from them," Jacqueline Kain, the children's mother, said in a statement read in court. "Do you have any remorse?"
At the conclusion of the family's statements, Lomeli sharply rebuked the defendants. His tone became even harsher when Sanchez, the attack's instigator, began smiling.
"Oh, you're smiling?" the judge snapped. "It's funny?"
"It's not funny," Sanchez responded.
"You don't respect the rights of individuals," Lomeli continued, calling the attack in Lot 2 outside Dodger Stadium "absolutely vicious" and the defendants "complete cowards" for punching Stow and kicking him repeatedly in the head and torso as he lay on the ground.
"You show no remorse whatsoever, no remorse to the family, and that is also something that is unfortunate," Lomeli said, concluding that many sports rivalries, like the Dodgers versus Giants, provoke high emotions. "But it is a game, at the end of the day," Lomeli said. "You lost perspective."