A Los Angeles jury today ruled that the Dodgers are partly liable for the devastating injuries to Giants fan Bryan Stow, who was attacked in a stadium parking lot after an opening day game in 2011, and must pay millions to cover his medical bills and other expenses.
The two men who attacked Stow, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, were also ordered to pay part of the legal payout, which totaled nearly $18 million.
The former owner of the team, Frank McCourt, was not found liable.
FOR THE RECORD
A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the legal payout as being nearly $14 million.
Based on the verdict, the Dodgers will have to pay about $13.9 million, said team attorney Dana Fox.
The team is on the hook to shoulder all of his past and future medical expenses and lost earnings, but 25% of the sum jurors found Stow should receive for his pain and suffering. Sanchez and Norwood each will be responsible for 37.5% of that sum.
Fox said the team had not yet decided whether to appeal, saying they would “wait and consider the options.”
Stow, a Santa Cruz paramedic and the father of two young children, was beaten unconscious and left with such profound injuries that his attorneys said he will require round-the-clock medical assistance for the remainder of his life.
The suit said Stow and his friends had been taunted throughout the game and then were blindsided from behind as they walked across a dimly illuminated parking lot, all of which went unnoticed by security.
Stow’s attorney argued that McCourt had opted to go cheap on security, instead funneling money into his own lavish lifestyle.
“The Dodgers’ own pocketbook prevented them from providing proper security,” said attorney Thomas Girardi, pointing out that the team’s security budget amounted to about 62 cents per fan in attendance.
But the Dodgers’ attorney said the opposite was true, that the team had stepped up security and provided the most robust level of protection of any opening day game in team history. Stow himself and his two attackers were ultimately responsible for his injuries, Dana Fox argued.
Fox said Stow and his family should have sought damages from Sanchez and Norwood, the two men now serving time for the assault, rather than the Dodgers.
Fox said it would be “heartless” not to feel compassion for Stow and his family, but asked jurors to consider Stow’s own responsibility, noting that his blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit for driving, and that a witness testified that he saw Stow raising his arms and yelling something in the direction of Sanchez and Norwood.
“There were things that Mr. Stow did that put these events into action. Don’t get yourself this drunk and then say, ‘I share no responsibility for what happened.’”
Stow’s attorneys asked for about $50 million in damages, including $30 million for past and future medical costs, plus punitive damages for the team’s negligence. The team’s lawyers countered with estimates that Stow’s medical costs would amount to between $6.5 million and $11 million.