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Family's lawsuit blames Dodgers for attack on Bryan Stow

May 24, 2011 | 12:50 pm

Sisters Bonnie Stow, left, and Erin Collins, center, appear with mother Ann Stow, right, during a news conference at a hospital in San Francisco.

The family of the San Francisco Giants fan who suffered brain damage after a beating at Dodger Stadium sued the team and owner Frank McCourt on Tuesday, alleging that cutbacks in security and antiquated facilities -- including light fixtures dating from 1962 -- contributed to the brutal attack.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of paramedic Bryan Stow of Santa Cruz and his two children, contends the team should have provided more security, especially for the high-profile opening day game, after which Stow was assaulted in the parking lot. He remains in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital.

Click to read the lawsuit The suit was filed against a number of Dodger and McCourt entities but did not name Jamie McCourt, who has been fighting with her husband over ownership of the team in divorce proceedings.

Document: Read the lawsuit

Even before the attack, Stow and his three friends were harassed during the March 31 game, with other Dodger fans repeatedly taunting them and throwing peanuts, hot dogs, and wrappers -- “clear signs of intimidation” that Dodger security personnel should have addressed -- the suit alleged.

“The lack of security and inadequate lighting presented a perfect opportunity to commit a variety of crimes,” attorneys wrote in the suit. “Unfortunately, for Bryan Stow, this is exactly what happened.”

A spokesman for the Dodgers declined to comment, saying the team does not discuss pending legal matters. Frank McCourt’s spokesman referred a request for comment to the Dodgers.

In the suit, attorneys alleged that Dodger Stadium has had more instances of criminal activity than any other Major League Baseball stadium, but did not give a source for that information.

Attorneys also argued that by installing temporary lights in the parking lot after the attack the team had acknowledged that the lighting had been insufficient at the time of the beating.

The lawsuit also blamed the McCourts’ “lavish lifestyle” for what they called a “disturbing reduction in security staff.”

“These cutbacks have accelerated since approximately 2009, primarily as a cost-saving measure due to owner and principle Frank McCourt’s financial mismanagement and family woes,” attorneys wrote.

One of the two men suspected of attacking Stow was arrested Sunday after police received a tip from his parole agent. Giovanni Ramirez, 31, is being held on $1 million bail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

The lawsuit also accused unnamed assailants of assault, battery and false imprisonment.


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-- Victoria Kim

Photo: Bonnie Stow, left, Erin Collins and Ann Stow, the sisters and mother of Bryan Stow, at a news conference Monday in San Francisco where they discussed the arrest of a suspect in his beating. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press