Jury Finds Dodgers Partly Liable For The Beating Of Bryan Stow

A Los Angeles jury found the Dodgers 25 percent responsible for the permanent brain damage suffered by Giants fan Bryan Stow during a parking-lot assault in 2011. They'll owe him $4.5 million of the $18 million he was awarded for his injuries.

Stow was beaten into a coma by two men after the Dodgers-Giants opening day game on March 31, 2011 and spent more than six months in the hospital. He will require round-the-clock medical care for the rest of his life. At trial, a doctor testified that the father of two's IQ now stands at 75, near the borderline for mental disability.

Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, who pleaded guilty to Stow's assault, were sentenced to eight and four years in prison, respectively. The jury today found them each 37.5 percent liable for Stow's injuries.

Stow's lawyer had argued that the Dodgers' lax attention to security and poor control of alcohol sales contributed to the assault.

"Dodger Stadium got to a place where it was a total mess," Stow's attorney, Tom Girardi, told jurors during the monthlong trial. "There was a culture of violence. Beer sales were off the charts."

Defense attorney Dana Fox said blame for the attack lay with Sanchez and Norwood, not the Dodgers. He contended that the security presence at the game was greater than at any other Opening Day in the Dodgers' history, and that Stow's beating could not have been prevented.

He also suggested Stow had played a role in the attack, relating a witness account of him yelling at Dodger fans in the parking lot and citing testimony that his blood alcohol level was 0.18 percent - more than double the legal limit for driving.

Stow's suit had also sought to hold former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt liable, accusing him of spending on himself rather than on security. But the jury absolved McCourt of responsibility, and awarded Stow just $18 million of the $50 million he had been seeking.

[San Francisco Chronicle]