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June 27, 2014

Cause of fan beating debated at trial

LOS ANGELES — What happened to Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day in March 2011, leaving him with lifelong injuries, was either a crime of heated passion that was over in a matter of seconds or a preventable security lapse hours in the making.

Lawyers for Stow, the Santa Cruz paramedic and San Francisco Giants fan who was attacked in the stadium parking lot, and the Dodgers argued yesterday over who should foot the bill for the costly medical care Stow will need for years to come and compensation for his pain and suffering.

Team lawyer Dana Fox said the blame was on Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, the two men who admitted criminal responsibility and are serving time for the assault on Stow, 45. No level of security can prevent all crime from occurring, he argued, and it’s the two men Stow and his family should be suing.

“Take them out of the picture and we’re not here,” he said. “You can speculate all day long about if the Dodgers had done something different.”

Thomas Girardi, who brought the negligence lawsuit on behalf of Stow and his two children, said it was clearly the Dodgers who should shoulder 100 percent of the blame. He said Sanchez had been causing trouble in the stadium starting in the second inning and should have been kicked out of the game hours earlier. It was the Dodgers’ scrimping on security for their bottom line that led to Stow’s beating, he told jurors.

“The Dodgers’ own pocketbook prevented them from providing proper security,” he said, pointing out that the team’s security budget amounts to about 62 cents per each fan in attendance.

The two security personnel who were assigned to work in the parking lot where Stow was attacked had not managed to get to their posts when the attack took place, he said.

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