After two days of questioning potential jurors about whether they were Dodger fans or could be impartial when it came to Frank McCourt, a jury was impaneled Wednesday in the civil trial that seeks damages for Bryan Stow.
Taunted while wearing a Giants jersey at Dodger Stadium on opening day in 2011, Stow was beaten unconscious in a parking lot.
Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, suffered severe brain injuries that required part of his skull to be removed. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Stow and his two children, accusing the Los Angeles Dodgers and former owner McCourt of failing to provide proper security and lighting on the night of the attack.
A jury of eight men and eight women were sworn in just before court closed for the day. The panel includes an attorney, a hardware store manager, a school bus driver, a nurse, a journalist and a mail carrier. Four alternates have yet to be selected from within the group.
Opening statements are scheduled to take place Thursday. Stow’s mother, Ann, is expected to be the first witness.
An attorney for the Dodgers warned potential jurors that there would be tears on the stand.
“You’re going to hear some potentially gut-wrenching testimony,” Dana Fox said. “You’d have to be inhuman not to feel sympathy to the situation. The question is, can you set that aside? Keep your feet on the ground and be objective?”
The jury pool was also vetted for their thoughts on responsibility when it comes to alcohol consumption, as well as for their own experiences at Dodger Stadium. Several jurors said they were intimidated at the idea of being part of such a high-profile case, while others said they were interested in hearing the evidence.
“This is such a big deal in the L.A. community,” said one man. “People do want to know.”
Stow’s attorney Thomas Girardi says he believes the case will wrap up within four weeks. He estimated that the total past and future cost of Stow’s medical care is about $38 million.
The suit also seeks punitive damages, as well as reimbursement to those who donated to the Bryan Stow fund.