Dodgers Challenge Lawsuit Filed By Family Of Beaten Giants Fan
LOS ANGELES (CNN Wire) — Lawyers for the Los Angeles Dodgers fought back against a lawsuit attempting to implicate the baseball franchise in the severe beating of a man outside its stadium, according to court documents.
Bryan Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic from Santa Cruz, went into a coma as a result of the March 31 beating in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium after a game between the San Francisco Giants and the Dodgers.
Two months later, his family filed a lawsuit on his behalf naming 13 corporate entities related to the Dodgers as well as its owner, Frank McCourt, that alleged that faulty security measures and defective facilities contributed to Stow’s attack. The suit claims that the Giants fan was harassed, threatened and intimidated inside the stadium, and then security officers allowed the attackers to follow him outside.
In the parking lot, two men confronted Stow and — unprovoked — began kicking and punching him while yelling profanities about the Giants, police have said. It took 10 to 15 minutes after the attack for personnel to reach Stow.
The defendants responded to the Stows’ lawsuit by filing a motion in California Superior Court, a copy of which was obtained by CNN on Friday. In it, they claim that many allegations were “irrelevant and improper” or “not drawn in conformity with the laws of this state” and ask the court to strike much of the lawsuit.
For example, the motion challenges the lawsuit’s claim that the Dodgers failed to promote the “responsible consumption of alcohol.”
“As a matter of established law, a premises owner who sells or distributes alcohol cannot be liable for damages caused by an individual who consumes alcohol or becomes intoxicated,” the defendants claim in their motion.
They add that moves by the franchise to bolster security after the Stow beating, including ceasing a “half-off” beer promotion and adding lighting in parking lots, cannot be used against the team. “Any such evidence is inadmissible,” the defendants claim.
The Dodgers, in their motion, also called “irrelevant and improper” allegations that financial troubles facing the team were tied to decreased security. McCourt and his wife, Jamie, are in the middle of a contentious divorce proceeding.
The lawsuit said, “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.”
The defendants struck back, writing in their motion, “Allegations relating to Mr. McCourt’s finances, his use of funds, the corporate structure of his assets or his lifestyle simply have no place here. The court should strike all such allegations.”
The team also challenged the relevance of “all allegations relating to gang activity at Dodger Stadium and purportedly rough neighborhoods surrounding the stadium.” The Stows, in their lawsuit, claim that security officers and stadium managers knew about the threat and neglected to take steps to protect innocent people like Stow, including not hiring a security chief for six weeks before Opening Day.
The defendants’ attorneys called for the judge to strike all claims for “negligent infliction of emotional distress.” Also in their motion, they criticized the lawsuit for not specifying which of the 13 corporations (all related to the Dodgers) and individual named “authorized or ratified the alleged actions.”
Stow himself remained at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, where he was in serious condition this week, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.
The men police believe were responsible for his attack — Marvin Norwood, 30, and Louie Sanchez, 29 — pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges related to Stow’s beating. The two L.A.-area residents were ordered to remain in custody in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail each.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All rights Reserved.)