Dodgers Continue to Fight Beating Victim Stow in Court: Fan’s Opinion

In a sad anniversary that is rapidly approaching, it will be one year since the savage beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium. Stow's family has filed a lawsuit against the Dodgers (among other parties) calling the team liable due to its negligence in preventing the beating from happening. On February 3, the team filed a motion in bankruptcy court asking the court to disallow all claims made by Stow and his children. I think it's outrageous and I think the team should settle with the family instead of legal maneuvers that will just end up putting more money in the lawyer's pockets, not those of Stow's children.

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In their filing in court, the team argues the Stow family cannot win in court, as a matter of law. The Dodgers claim Stow's family cannot prove a link between security issues and the beating, and that they had no knowledge or, nor can they anticipate a criminal act. I think it's all a bunch of baloney. As someone who could have a large judgement against the team, the Stow family is one of the creditors in the Dodgers' bankruptcy case, just like players to whom the team owes money or a vendor with outstanding bills.

As a Dodger fan who attended many games at Dodger Stadium, I was aware of both the lack of security and the prevalence of a thug-ish element, which, when combined with alcohol, causes a really bad combination. I agree with the Stow family's contention that the Dodgers are (at least partially) liable for the injuries as they were negligent in providing a secure environment for fans. They did not have enough security, the parking lot was poorly lit and under-patrolled and the tolerance level for drinking and violent behavior was so high that an event like the Stow beating was inevitable. The changes made by the team after the public relations nightmare caused by the event prove to me they did not do enough before. Now the team and stadium have a zero-tolerance policy for bad behavior and they have many more private security guards, as well as many more off-and on-duty Los Angeles police officers. I've been to games since the Stow beating and the difference in security and tolerance is like night and day.

The beating could have happened to any fan wearing the opposing colors at Dodger Stadium. Wearing Giants gear and apparently being vocal about his support for them, Stow got into a confrontation with several Dodger fans after the game. He was alledgedly sucker-punched and was injured mainly when his head hit the pavement, after being hit. Stow, a former paramedic, was in critical condition ever since the incident and had been in a medically-induced coma for months. Only recently has he begun to write and try to speak, and obviously he will never return to his normal life. He is also now unable to support himself or his family and I do think the Dodgers have some responsibility.

I hope the new owner has a different opinion on the Stow situation and moves to settle the case.

Freddy Sherman grew up in Philadelphia, which didn't make being a Los Angeles Dodgers fan easy. He has lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, now able to follow the Dodgers openly and attends games frequently. You can follow him on Twitter: @thefredsherman .

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Updated Monday, Feb 13, 2012