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Bryan Stow attorneys: Let state court decide our claims

February 22, 2012 |  3:35 pm

The Dodgers should not be allowed to use the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to minimize their liability to Bryan Stow, attorneys for the injured San Francisco Giants fan argued Wednesday.

The Dodgers have asked the Bankruptcy Court to throw out Stow's claim, arguing they should not be held liable for an attack they could not have predicted. On Wednesday, Stow's attorneys asked the Bankruptcy Court to yield to Los Angeles Superior Court, where they filed a civil suit last May against team owner Frank McCourt, the Dodgers and related entities.

Stow's attorneys claimed the Dodgers can repay creditors and exit bankruptcy by the April 30 target date without rushing to litigate the Stow matter.  The attorneys allege the Dodgers are using Bankruptcy Court as a shield "to try to gain unfair strategic and economic windfalls for ... personal injury litigation defendants and insurers."

The filing cited $50 million as a "conservative total estimate" of Stow's damages. His injuries, suffered in an attack in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the opening-day game against the Giants, include traumatic brain injury and limited movement.

"As a result, he is wheel chair bound and will unfortunately require 24-hour skilled nursing care for the rest of his days," according to the filing.

Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood were arrested in July in connection with the attack and charged with assault and mayhem. The men have pleaded not guilty.

The Dodgers have argued that stadium security was at record levels on opening day and that they had no way to anticipate the attack.

Stow's attorneys cited sworn declarations from at least five other fans in attendance that day, each alleging he or she struggled in finding security personnel to respond to threatening incidents during the game. They also cited two ballpark incidents that day that involved Sanchez and preceded the attack on Stow, claiming the Dodgers should have ejected him before the game ended.

"Had these feasible measures been taken by the [Dodgers], Bryan Stow would not have been brutally attacked ... and would not have to face a life long struggle to regain basic function," according to the filing.

The Dodgers responded to Wednesday's filing with this statement: "Nothing in today's filings by Mr. Stow changes the reality that the Bankruptcy Court has jurisdiction to throw out Mr. Stow's claim in its entirety."


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-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Bryan Stow and his children. Credit: Beck Difenbach / Reuters