Dodgers' “Neutral Party” Request Denied in Stow Civil Case

The civil case filed by Bryan Stow's family names Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and several Dodger entities

A judge in the civil lawsuit brought against the Dodgers by the family of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow denied a request from the team Friday to appoint a neutral party to assist in the case.

Timeline: The Bryan Stow Case | Bryan Stow Case Coverage

Attorneys for the Dodgers and owner Frank McCourt argued at the case management hearing in Los Angeles that the neutral party was needed to evaluate requests for information by each side and make recommendations to the judge. Judge Abraham Khan disagreed, saying it's not necessary at this time.

"It may be later that the court determines one is necessary, but we're not at that point yet,'' Khan said.

It's likely the Dodgers attorneys will make the request to appoint a "discovery referee" again at a future hearing.

"That's why we made the preemptive strike,'' Dodger attorney Jerome Jackson said. "We're  trying to explore and resolve disputes we know are coming."

The Stow family's lawsuit filed May 24 does not specify an amount for Stow's care, required after the 42-year-old Bay area paramedic was attacked March 31 after a Giants-Dodgers game. Stow's family is seeking damages for the team's alleged negligence in protecting fans at the stadium.

Most of the defendants in the civil case are corporate entities of the Dodgers organization, such as stadium, parking lot and concession entities. McCourt, who has reached an agreement with Major League Baseball on a court-supervised process to sell the Dodgers, also is named in the civil suit.

The Dodgers have filed a cross-complaint against two suspects in the attack -- Marvin Norwood and Louis Sanchez. The team claims that although the Dodgers and McCourt believe they are not liable for Stow's  injuries, in the event a jury finds otherwise, Sanchez and Norwood should be ordered to pay part of the damages. 

Related: Bryan Stow Interview

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