Ongoing coverage of Bryan Stow attack and the lawsuit filed by the family

Dodgers Lawyer Says Bryan Stow Confrontational Before Beating

The attack after an April 2011 opening day game left Bryan Stow in need of life-time care and outraged sports fans

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The first witnesses have been called in the civil lawsuit brought by the family of Bryan Stow against former Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt. Patrick Healy reports from downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 29, 2014)

    Opening statements began Thursday in a civil lawsuit brought against the Los Angeles Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt by a San Francisco Giants fan who was attacked in a stadium parking lot after an opening day game.

    During opening statements, a lawyer for the Dodgers and McCourt aggressively argued that it was intoxication and flared tempers that caused the fight, and that the team provided adequate security at the stadium.

    Opening Statements Begin in Bryan Stow Lawsuit Against the Dodgers

    [LA] Opening Statements Begin in Bryan Stow Lawsuit Against the Dodgers
    Lawyers for the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt argued beating victim Bryan Stow was aggressive, intoxicated prior to incident. Patrick Healy reports live from downtown LA for the NBC4 News at Noon on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 29, 2014)

    The attorney also said Stow inflamed the situation with comments and gestures toward the two men who later pleaded guilty to beating him.

    But Tom Girardi, Stow's attorney, said those who attended the 2011 season opener said people were fighting and throwing things at each other early on in the game.

    Bryan Stow Sits Through 1st Day of Jury Selection in Lawsuit Against Former Dodger's Owner

    [LA] Bryan Stow Sits Through 1st Day of Jury Selection in Lawsuit Against Former Dodger's Owner
    Bryan Stow, who was left with permanent brain damage after being badly beaten during the Dodgers home opener game in March 2011, appeared in a Los Angeles County courtroom Tuesday for the first day of jury selection in his civil suit against former Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt, alleging he cut corners on security to save money. Patrick Healy reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from the courthouse Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (Published Tuesday, May 27, 2014)

    "They take absolutely no responsibility for the mess this place was in," he said. "Somehow they say ... it's all Mr. Stow's fault."

    A jury was chosen Wednesday to hear the civil negligence case brought by Bryan Stow, of San Jose, after lawyers spent all day questioning prospects after reading through their answers to a six-page written questionnaire.

    Bryan Stow Appears in Court for Jury Selection

    [LA] Bryan Stow Appears in Court for Jury Selection
    Bryan Stow appeared in a Los Angeles court as jury selection began in the trial of a lawsuit over his beating at Dodger Stadium after the March 2011 opening day game between the Giants and Dodgers. Attorneys were able speak to the jurors before they were handed questionnaires. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (Published Tuesday, May 27, 2014)

    A total of 16 jurors were selected, eight men and eight women. Four of them will become alternates but the panelists will not know until the trial's end which 12 will actually deliberate and make the decision.

    Stow, 45, the San Francisco Giants fan whose beating at Dodger Stadium became a symbol of violence associated with sports events, sat in court in a specially equipped wheelchair Wednesday as prospective jurors were questioned.

    "This wasn't a big sympathy play or anything like that," Girardi said. "The jury has to understand what this whole case is all about."

    Ann Stow, Bryan Stow's mother, was the first to take the stand.

    The civil case follows a criminal trial in which two men pleaded guilty to assault charges.

    The civil jury will focus on whether the Dodgers and McCourt provided sufficient security in April 2011 for the opening game with Los Angeles' fierce rival, the San Francisco Giants.

    Witnesses at a preliminary hearing in criminal court testified that security guards were not present in the parking lot where Stow was beaten and kicked by Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood. Stow's lawyer said the pair who wore Dodgers gear attacked Stow for wearing a Giants shirt.

    Stow suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled. His lawyers say his lifetime care could cost $50 million.

    A lawyer representing the team and McCourt said the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Police Department provided the single largest security force for a Dodgers game in history. Attorney Dana Fox called the level of security on opening day unprecedented and contended responsibility rested with the defendants and Stow.

    In another development, lawyers agreed to halve the number of defendants, leaving the former Dodgers owner and one entity, Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, remaining as defendants. The agreement means two other team companies, Blue Landco LLC and L.A.Real Estate LLC, are no longer part of the case.

    Sanchez, 31, pleaded guilty to a felony count of mayhem and was sentenced to eight years in prison for the attack. Norwood, 32, pleaded guilty to  assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and was sentenced to  four years behind bars.

    As part of the plea agreement, all other charges against the men were dropped. Both men had originally been charged with mayhem,  assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious  bodily injury.

    Patrick Healy contributed to this report.

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