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Team Settles Suit With Fan Over Incident at Wrigley

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Dodgers settled a civil suit in connection with an altercation last season at Wrigley Field in Chicago, ending their involvement in an ongoing matter, a club official said Tuesday.

The Dodgers agreed to pay Ronald Camacho of Chicago an undisclosed sum to settle his suit that stemmed from a brawl with fans in the stands, and resulted in the Dodgers being hit with the largest mass suspension in baseball history.

“The matter was settled to the satisfaction of all parties,” said Sam Fernandez, senior vice president and general counsel.

Fernandez declined to disclose terms of the settlement, but it was revealed during a court hearing that the Dodgers will pay Camacho $300,000, several sources involved with the case said.

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Insurance will cover the settlement. The Dodgers are now removed from litigation that ensued from the ninth-inning incident May 16 that delayed the team’s 6-5 victory over the Cubs and resulted in three arrests.

Litigation is still pending against the Cubs.

The Dodgers resolved the situation relatively cheaply, considering that Camacho alleged in his suit against the Cubs, Dodgers and several players that catcher Chad Kreuter choked him while other Dodgers pummeled him.

Players will not be forced to travel to Chicago for court proceedings, averting logistical and roster problems during the season.

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The club was outraged last season after Frank Robinson, vice president of on-field operations for major league baseball, suspended 19 Dodgers for a total of 89 games and fined them $77,000 for their roles in the melee.

Robinson was adamant in his stance that the Dodgers should not have gone into the stands after a fan seated behind the uncovered visitors’ bullpen allegedly struck Kreuter and took his cap.

After a monthlong appeal process, Paul Beeston, baseball’s chief operating officer, sided with the Dodgers in overturning suspensions of 11 of 16 players and one of three coaches.

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The Dodgers and reliever Antonio Osuna settled on a one-year, $1.5-million contract, avoiding an arbitration ruling.

Osuna sought $1.85 million and the Dodgers offered $1.3 million. Osuna made $971,045 in 2000.

The club is expected to trade Osuna because it has a surplus of right-handed relievers.


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