Bankruptcy attorneys for the Los Angeles Dodgers filed court papers today asking a Delaware judge to reject a financial claim by a San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten in a parking lot after the Dodgers home opener last year, saying there was no proof of wrongdoing by the team that led to the attack.
Bryan Stow, a paramedic, was attacked and beaten in a Dodger Stadium parking lot following the team’s opening-day victory over the Giants on March 31, 2011.
Stow spent weeks in a coma, but has since been transferred closer to his Northern California home, where he continues to recover.
Police said the attack was carried out primarily because Stow was wearing Giants paraphernalia at the game, while his assailants wore Dodgers gear.
Two men, Marvin Norwood and Louis Sanchez, have been arrested in connection with the attack and are awaiting trial.
The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware last summer, and the team is in the process of being sold by owner Frank McCourt.
In its latest bankruptcy court papers, the team asked a judge to reject a bankruptcy claim by the Stow family, arguing that Stow “cannot prevail in his claims against the debtors.”
In a statement, the team claimed that, “As a matter of law, Stow cannot prove any link between the additional security related steps that Stow contends the debtors should have taken and his injuries; Stow cannot show that anything about the security (personnel) staffing on opening day caused his injuries and, furthermore, the security staffing at the game greatly exceeded all requirements of California state law.”
The team also contends the Dodgers have no liability for failing to anticipate criminal actions by “third parties.”
Thomas Girardi, attorney for the Stow family, lashed out at the Dodgers and McCourt in response to the filing, calling it a “despicable” move and saying McCourt lacks integrity.
“This is a case, you can’t lose against this guy, because the honesty, integrity and all that stuff is total baloney,” Girardi told City News Service. “What he does is he eliminates all of the security in the place. We have now 300 letters sent to our firm from people saying they will never go back to Dodger Stadium because they were so much threatened by simply being there.”
He said his firm has collected evidence that at least one gang has conducted regular meetings at Dodger Stadium.
He added, “We sue a lot of corporations here … (and) there’s nobody worse. He’s the most despicable owner …”
“Everybody in life makes mistakes and how you’re judged as a person or a company is not if you made the mistake, but what you do after you made the mistake,” Girardi said. “That’s how people are judged.”
According to the team’s statement, the Dodgers cannot be held liable for “failing to escort Stow and his companions through the parking lot,” noting that neither he nor anyone else requested an escort. The team also contends it cannot be held liable for the presence of people at the stadium who might be gang members, and that it had no knowledge of prior criminal conduct by Stow’s attackers.