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McCourt attorneys: Bryan Stow's children cannot sue Dodgers

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Lawyers representing the Dodgers and owner Frank McCourt are arguing that the children of Bryan Stow should not be allowed to sue the team over their father's beating and also want references in the lawsuit to McCourt's wealth and allegation of drinking at the stadium removed.

The lawsuit was filed in May on behalf of Bryan Stow and his two children, Tyler and Tabitha, and names McCourt and 13 other Dodgers entities. The suit lists nine claims: negligence, premises liability, loss of consortium, assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring, retention and supervision.

Photos: The beating of Bryan Stow

But court papers filed this week contest some of these claims, many of which involved Stow’s children. Defense attorneys say Tyler and Tabitha don’t have a valid claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress, or loss of consortium, society and comfort. They also shouldn’t be allowed to seek the negligence claim, lawyers said, because they weren’t at the game and weren’t present when the attack happened.

“The complaint does not allege … that Mr. Stow’s children attended the game nor is it alleged that the children were with Mr. Stow at the time of the alleged incident,” the papers said. “Absent any such allegations, Mr. Stow’s children cannot maintain any claim for negligence against the named defendants.”

Lawyers said the fact that the children cannot sue was “a matter of common sense.”

“Indeed if the law were otherwise, the owner of every stadium, arena, mall, grocery store and restaurant would automatically owe a duty of care to every child and every spouse of every person who walked through the door,” the papers said.

Lawyers also requested that language about the sale and consumption of alcohol at the stadium be removed from the lawsuit, along with comments about a “purported gang presence at Dodger Stadium.” They also asked that descriptions of the incident as “brutal and vicious” be removed.

Lawyers said comments about McCourt’s “lavish lifestyle” made in the suit weren’t pertinent, and asked that they too be removed.   

“All allegations relating to defendant Frank McCourt’s purported financial status, assets and lifestyle … are irrelevant and improper,” the papers said.

Team lawyers also asked that the request for punitive damages be dismissed because the original lawsuit didn’t say which of the defendants was responsible for any actions that would result in such damages.

“The complaint does not specifically state which of the 14 named defendants undertook the alleged actions that purportedly gave rise to punitive damages,” the papers said.

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-- Kate Mather and Victoria Kim

Photo: Bryan Stow with his children Tyler and Tabitha. Credit: Stow family

 
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