Judge Sends Dodger Stadium Fan Rumble Case to Mediation

A judge Tuesday referred to mediation a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he was beaten and suffered a traumatic brain injury outside Dodger Stadium after attending a playoff game between the Mets and the home team in 2015.

Ariel D. Auffant, a Bakersfield geologist, and his wife brought the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court in September 2017, naming Los Angeles Dodgers LLC and Michael Rae Papayans and his mother, Jennifer Lynn Papayans, as defendants.

Judge Yolanda Orozco sent the case to mediation and scheduled a post-mediation status conference for Feb. 20, 2020. She also scheduled trial for April 13, 2020, in case the lawsuit is not resolved.

In their court papers, attorneys for the Dodgers allege that an intoxicated Ariel Auffant physically attacked 52-year-old Jennifer Papayans and that her son came to her defense by slugging the man in the face, causing him to fall and strike his head in the parking lot.

The suit alleges negligence, premises liability, negligent hiring, retention and supervision, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium. The plaintiffs are asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Auffant attended the playoff game on Oct. 9, 2015, the first contest of the National League Division Series, according to his court papers. Auffant was a Dodger fan, but his cousin, who was among those who accompanied the plaintiff to the game, wore a Mets cap and was a supporter of the New York team, the suit says.

The Mets won the game 3-1. Auffant and his companions walked outside the stadium to go home about 10 p.m. and were confronted by the Papayans, who shouted vulgar language at them, according to the complaint, which alleges the area was not well-lit and no security was present.

After the Auffant group reached the handicapped parking area, he was "brutally attacked" by the Papayans, causing him to lose consciousness and fall to the pavement, the suit alleges.

"Ariel Auffant struck his head on the pavement and his assailants continued the attack by kicking him," according to his court papers, which allege that Dodger security staffers took several minutes to respond, even though the attack happened near the stadium gates.

His wife, Abigaile, maintains she has lost the love and companionship of her husband since he was hurt.

In 2014, Giants fan Bryan Stow of Capitola was awarded a multimillion-dollar verdict stemming from a permanent brain injury he suffered in a March 31, 2011, beating in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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