The jury isn't in an easy position in Bryan Stow's lawsuit against the Los Angeles Dodgers and its former owner. It's a tough task to decide whether an MLB team should be held legally accountable for a fan being nearly beaten to death by two other fans after a game. So it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Stow jury says it is deadlocked after five days of deliberation.
The judge in the case — heard in Los Angeles Superior Court — has ordered the 12 jurors to deliberate further, in hopes that they can reach a verdict and avoid a mistrial.
The Stow family is suing former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and the ball club, citing inadequate security at the Giants-Dodgers game on Opening Day 2011 at which Stow, a Giants fan, was almost fatally beaten by two Dodgers fans. The two Dodgers fans, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, have already pleaded guilty and are serving in time jail. Stow, meanwhile, needs round-the-clock care for life.
This civil trial is an attempt to cover Stow's medical costs and help his two children. His attorney is seeking $36 million. Before awarding any money to Stow, the jury first needs to decide whether McCourt and the Dodgers were at fault. Nine of the 12 jurors need to agree, and that's where they're deadlocked.
We'll let Kate Mather of the Los Angeles Times summarize what was argued in court:
The suit said Stow and his friends had been taunted throughout the game and then were blindsided from behind as they walked across a dimly illuminated parking lot — all of which went unnoticed by security.
Stow’s attorney argued that McCourt had opted for cheap security, instead funneling money into his own lavish lifestyle.
"The Dodgers' own pocketbook prevented them from providing proper security," said attorney Thomas Girardi, pointing out that the team's security budget amounted to about 62 cents per fan in attendance.
But the Dodgers' attorney said the opposite was true — that the team had stepped up security and provided the most robust level of protection of any opening day game in team history. Stow himself and his two attackers were ultimately responsible for his injuries, Dana Fox argued.
Should the jurors decide McCourt and/or the Dodgers are at fault, they'll be in for even more deliberation, trying to put a proper dollar figure on the damages.
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