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Bryan Stow lawyers reject Dodgers’ bid to resolve bankruptcy claim

Attorneys for Bryan Stow on Monday rejected the Dodgers’ proposed resolution to his bankruptcy claim, setting the stage for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross to decide whether to hear the Stow matter in his court or simply defer to civil court in Los Angeles.

A hearing on the issue is set Wednesday.

Stow is the San Francisco Giants fan beaten and critically injured in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day last year. His attorneys have said he will need lifelong medical care and cited $50 million as a “conservative total estimate” of his damages.

Stow’s attorneys filed a civil suit against the Dodgers in Los Angeles Superior Court and a subsequent claim against the team in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

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With the civil case on hold, the Dodgers last month asked the Bankruptcy Court to throw out Stow’s claim and find that the team could not be held liable because stadium security was at record levels and the attack could not have been reasonably foreseen.

In turn, Stow’s attorneys objected, arguing in part that the Dodgers were trying to use the Bankruptcy Court to execute an end run around the civil trial, where a jury would hear the case.

The Dodgers last week offered to defer to the Superior Court on three conditions -- that Stow does not oppose the team’s emergence from bankruptcy; that Stow waits until that emergence to proceed with the civil suit; and that Stow seeks to recover damages only from the Dodgers’ insurance carriers and not from the defendants themselves. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is one of the defendants in the civil suit.

In Monday’s filing, Stow’s attorneys said they could work with the first two conditions but flatly rejected the third, claiming it would “severely limit Stow’s right to recover punitive ... damages.”

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Stow has sued various McCourt entities, some of which are not involved in the bankruptcy proceedings. In Monday’s filing, Stow’s attorneys alleged the Dodgers are trying to leverage resolution of his bankruptcy claim “for the benefit of nondebtor parties, including and most specifically Mr. Frank McCourt.”

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