Jury Finds Dodgers Partly Responsible For Bryan Stow Beating, Frank McCourt Escapes Unscathed Again
After nine long, deadlocked days of deliberation, the jury in a civil suit filed by Bryan Stow's family against the Dodgers has decided that the baseball team is partially liable for the $18 million in damages awarded to Stow for the beating that has left him permanently disabled.
The two men that attacked Stow, Louis Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, were ordered by the jury to cover 75% of the amount awarded (who, of course, don't have that kind of money). The Dodgers are on the hook for remaining $4.5 million, or about half of what Brian Wilson is making this year. The Stow family had sought $37 million for medical costs and $23 million for pain and suffering, according to KCAL. (Eds. note: see update below.)
Frank McCourt, who always seems to be let off easy despite driving the storied franchise into the ground, was not found to be negligent. This, despite the fact that he funneled money from the team's coffers and into his own pocket. "The Dodgers' own pocketbook prevented them from providing proper security," alleged Stow family attorney Thomas Girardi according to the LA Times.
Bryan Stow was also not found to be negligent, despite the Dodgers claiming that Stow's behavior that night led to his own attack. "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," said Dodgers' attorney Dana Fox. The Dodgers cited Stow's high blood-alcohol content and a witness alleging that he yelled something at his attackers in the parking lot after the game. (Apparently being drunk and yelling things at a baseball game crosses a line.)
Bryan Stow was brutally beaten on March 31st, 2011 after the Dodgers' home opener against the Giants in the stadium parking lot. Since the incident, the father of two from Santa Cruz has lived permanently disabled and will require medical care for the rest of his life. Louis Sanchez and Marvin Norwood have since plead guilty and been sentenced to 8- and 4-year prison terms, respectively, as a result of the beating and additional unrelated weapons charges
After the attack Stow's family filed suit against the Dodgers alleging that the team was negligent in not providing ample security in the parking lot that night.
The beating cast an uglier shadow on the end of the Frank McCourt regime of the Dodger franchise, and led to some of the team's lowest attendance rates in 10 seasons after their mediocre play and fears over fan safely kept people away. In 2012, the team was finally sold to a group that includes Lakers legend Magic Johnson for the whopping figure of $2 billion.
UPDATE 4:25 p.m. This is a little confusing: Stow's attorney Tom Girardi has told both City News Service and the Associated Press that the Dodgers will have to be paying out more than everyone else (including us) is reporting. He says the Dodgers will have to pay $14 million in economic losses to Stow as well as a quarter of the $4 million pain and suffering sum. $15 million is a fraction of what Stow asked for, but it's still considerably better than the $4 million that was initially reported. Stay tuned.