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Dodgers ask judge to reject claims for damages filed by Stow

Attorneys for the team and its owner, Frank McCourt, say they have no liability for the March 31 assault in a Dodger Stadium parking lot that left Giants fan Bryan Stow in a coma for months.

February 04, 2012|By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
  • An image of Dodger Stadium beating victim Bryan Stow and his two children is shown on the scoreboard at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
An image of Dodger Stadium beating victim Bryan Stow and his two children… (Beck Diefenbach / Reuters )

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday asked a federal bankruptcy judge to reject all claims for damages filed by San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow over his severe beating in a Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day of the 2011 season.

Attorneys for the team and its owner, Frank McCourt, argued that none of the entities in the baseball club's corporate structure have any liability for the March 31 assault that left Stow in a coma for months.

Stow sued the Dodgers in May, alleging negligence and poor security arrangements at the ballpark.

Louis Sanchez and Marvin Norwood were arrested in July and charged with assault and mayhem. They have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

In August, the Dodgers and McCourt asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross to dismiss the claims brought by Stow's minor children, Tyler and Tabitha, as well as the beating victim's contention, which they claim is false, that half-price beer had been offered at the stadium that day and contributed to unruly behavior that pitted Dodgers fans against Stow.


FOR THE RECORD:
The motion in August was not filed before Judge Gross in Bankruptcy Court; it was filed in federal court before another judge.

The team also asked that Stow's references in his lawsuit to McCourt's wealth and lifestyle be deleted as irrelevant. Stow's lawsuit alleged that the outlays of money exposed during McCourt's bitter divorce from his wife, Jamie, led the team to cut back on security staff.

McCourt, who bought the team in 2004 under a highly leveraged financing arrangement, declared the team in bankruptcy in June and recently disclosed that the team has amassed $573 million in debt.

The 44-page motion filed Friday asks the bankruptcy court in Delaware to reject all of Stow's claims for damages, arguing that he can't prove a connection between the alleged security lapses and his beating.

"The Dodgers had no knowledge of any inappropriate conduct by Stow's assailants prior to the time that Stow sustained his injuries and, as a matter of law, are not liable for failure to anticipate criminal acts of third parties," the team said Friday.

Stow's lawyers estimated his medical care for the brain injuries and other long-term effects from the beating will cost $50 million.

The Delaware court has been overseeing the team's pending sale, proceeds of which are expected to be used to pay down the debt.

carol.williams@latimes.com

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