Family of Dodgers Beating Victim Bryan Stow Sues Team Owner Frank McCourt

| by

The family of the Giants fan who was brutally beaten after the Dodgers' home opener, and who still is in a coma, lay the blame squarely on team owner Frank McCourt's "cutbacks and mismanagement," which, the family says, "led to a major downscaling of security forces at the stadium and surrounding parking lot." The family says it took Dodgers security nearly a quarter of an hour to appear at the poorly lit taxi stand where their father was beaten unconscious. 

Police arrested one suspect in the beating this week, and are looking for two more. 

The victim of the beating, Bryan Michael Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic, suffered critical injuries to his brain - apparently, for the sin of rooting for the Giants. His family, including two young children, believes he is permanently injured.

McCourt's financial doings became public during his much-publicized divorce.

"It is unfortunate that such a storied and well-respected baseball club such as the Los Angeles Dodgers has been made to suffer due to the cutbacks and mismanagement by its owner Frank McCourt and his various corporate entities," Stow's family says in their complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court. "Plaintiffs are informed, believe, and thereon allege, that these cutbacks also led to a major downscaling of security forces at the stadium and surrounding parking lot. These cutbacks have accelerated since approximately 2009 primarily as a cost-saving measure due to owner and principle Frank McCourt's financial mismanagement and family woes. The over approximately twenty-one McCourt entities are comprised of a myriad of companies and corporations, each purposefully and intricately designed to fund McCourts' lavish lifestyle while depleting the Dodgers of necessary funds to operate adequately and properly. This led to a disturbing reduction in security staff for Dodgers games. As the final decision maker for the Dodgers defendants, and each of them, McCourt and his entities held the ultimate responsibility for the funding and implementation of security procedures and implementation."

According to the 30-page complaint, Stow and his companions were "repeatedly taunted and yelled at" during the March 31 game "because they were Giants fans. Despite the obvious tensions in the stands, and the clear signs of intimidation toward Stow and his party, the Dodgers defendants' security staff failed to respond and/or address the safety concerns or intervene to aid Stow and his companions," the complaint states.

"At approximately 7:03 p.m., Stow sent a text message to a family member and express concern for his safety."

The Dodgers won 2-1 and the game ended at about 7:50. As the crowd filed out, "Dodgers fans continued to both intimidate and physically threaten Stow and his companions," the complaint states. "Once again, defendant Dodgers and their security staff failed to diffuse [sic] the situation or step in to ensure the safety of fans attending the game."

The Stow family says Bryan went directly to the taxi pick-up line, where there was no security, and inadequate lighting, which "presented a perfect opportunity to commit a variety of crimes. Unfortunately for Bryan Stow, this is exactly what happened."

As he waited in Parking Lot 2, "Bryan Stow was brutally attacked by Los Angeles Dodgers fans ... Does 1 through 5. During this attack, plaintiff Stow sustained repeated strikes to the head that caused him to fall to the ground. Stow struck his head on the ground and the assailant continued the brutal attack by kicking him several times in the head.

"Tragically, Bryan Stow did not regain consciousness. As a result, he was placed in a medically induced coma and has had part of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain. Bryan Stow, who was recently transferred to a facility in San Francisco, California, remains in a coma to this day.

"It took approximately ten to fifteen minutes for Dodgers defendants personnel to respond to the scene where Stow was injured.

"Without the implementation of adequate security measures, both inside the stadium and in the parking lot, by the Dodgers defendants, and each of them, along with the inadequate conditions of property such as poor lighting, Stow was inappropriately exposed to the aggressive acts of third parties. The bottom line is that the Dodgers defendants failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the attack on Stow."

In a footnote, the family praises the Los Angeles police: "(A)fter a tireless and diligent investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department ... arrested a suspect who was allegedly involved in the assault. The suspect has been identified as 31-year-old Giovanni Ramerez."

The complaint adds: "Plaintiffs also are informed and believe, and hereon allege, that there were various other similar incidents (including a death) since at least 2004 that put the Dodgers defendants on notice of such a dangerous and unsafe condition of property both inside the stadium and in the parking lot. The Dodgers also had prior knowledge that known members of gangs and other criminals actively used the occasion of Los Angeles Dodgers games to meet, plan and carry out criminal activity. Consequently, the Dodgers defendants had prior notice that the stadium and surrounding parking lots were unsafe for patrons such as Bryan Stow and could have prevented the attack by and through reasonable measures including, but not limited to, adequate security."

Lead plaintiff Bryan Stow, "a disabled adult," sued through his conservators, Elizabeth and David Stow, and for his two minor children. They seek punitive damages for nine counts, including negligence, assault and battery, premises liability, loss of consortium, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. They are represented by Thomas Girardi and Christopher Aumais with Girardi & Keese.