New information from a July 2011 Major League Baseball report revealed a “culture of apathy and indifference existed within the game day staff at Dodger Stadium” on March 31, 2011, the day San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was severely beaten in the parking lot.
Stow suffered severe brain damage and permanent disabilities as a result of the attack, and has already required over $5 million of care in the three years that have passed. It's estimated that it will cost an additional $34 million for Stow to receive care the rest of his life.
In light of MLB's assessment, which Stow's attorneys say they only became aware of last November, they are seeking to have the report completely unsealed so they can gather more information for their case. Dodgers attorneys are fighting that request, which will lead to a hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Court on April 11.
“The assessment contains information which is vital to the plaintiff’s case,” Stow’s attorneys said in court papers. “It evaluates key aspects of the stadium’s operations, technology, hiring, staffing and security.”
The attorneys who represent the Dodgers, however, said, “It’s not necessary [to reopen the report].”
Stow's attorney Tom Girardi says the current Dodgers ownership group has done an adequate job addressing and improving the safety issues around Dodger Stadium. It's the Frank McCourt regime he holds responsible for their failure to meet league standards regarding security at the stadium, and he believes McCourt's insurers should be liable for damages.
"Following this incident [Stow beating], several Dodger fans contacted Major League Baseball to report a multitude of incidents involving unruly fan behavior that have been occurring at Dodger Stadium in recent years," the report is quoted as saying.
"Based on these reports and at the direction of Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner, 'The Assessment Team' conducted an appraisal of the Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Club."
According to the court documents, the assessment concluded that the "existing and temporary lighting is inadequate," a fan texting program meant to assist with safety was "ineffective" and the team’s security camera systems failed to "capitalize on current technology."
That doesn't paint a pretty picture at all, and it only makes sense that Stow's attorneys would like to give the assessment a more thorough assessment of their own ahead of their impending court proceedings.
In February, defendant Marvin Norwood pleaded guilty to one count of assault and co-defendant Louie Sanchez pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem that disabled and disfigured the victim. The case is scheduled to go to trial May 27 with jury selection beginning one day earlier, but circle April 11 as the next key date for both sides as they await a ruling on MLB's report.
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