LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Jurors adjourned for the weekend Friday without reaching a verdict in a trial to determine fault for the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan after a baseball game at Dodger Stadium three years ago.
The attack, after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home opener in 2011, left former paramedic Bryan Stow severely disabled. It also focused national attention on fan violence at sports venues.
Stow’s family is seeking $37.5 million to cover the cost of lifetime medical care, plus double that amount for pain and suffering.
Jurors deliberated for around three hours Thursday and all day Friday. They are scheduled to meet again Monday.
A lawyer for Stow said in final arguments that the Dodgers and the team’s former owner, Frank McCourt, were negligent in providing adequate security on opening day, a time when fan emotions run high.
“Dodger Stadium got to a place where it was a total mess,” attorney Tom Girardi told jurors. “There was a culture of violence. Beer sales were off the charts.”
Defense attorney Dana Fox said the true culprits were Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, who pleaded guilty to attacking Stow and have been sentenced to prison. He also said Stow was partly to blame.
“There were three parties responsible — Sanchez, Norwood and, unfortunately, Stow himself,” Fox said.
“You don’t get yourself this drunk and then say it’s not your fault,” he said.
He cited testimony that Stow’s blood-alcohol level was .18 percent — more than twice the legal limit for driving — and a witness account of Stow yelling in the parking lot with his arms up in the air.
Girardi noted Stow and his friends didn’t drive to the game, but took a cab, and had planned to take one afterward before the father of two was attacked from behind, knocked to the ground and kicked in the head.
“The only thing Bryan Stow was doing was wearing a jersey that said ‘Giants,’ ” his lawyer said.
Stow, 45, made a touching appearance at the trial earlier in the week, allowing jurors to see the ghastly scars on his head where part of his his skull was temporarily removed during treatment.
“We would be heartless and inhuman not to feel sympathy for Mr. Stow,” Fox told jurors.
However, he reminded them that they had promised not to let sympathy influence their verdict.
“You want a lot of money. My position is you’re done at this point. You never get to the issue of damages,” the lawyer said, referring to the first two yes-or-no questions the jury must answer before even considering a monetary award.
The first question was whether the L.A. Dodgers LLC or Frank McCourt were negligent.
If jurors answer yes for either of the parties named, they must then answer whether the negligence of that party was a substantial factor in causing harm to Stow.
If the answer is no for both parties then the lawsuit is closed.
If jurors answer yes to the first two questions, they must go on and address three more questions.
The third question asks whether the acts of Sanchez and Norwood were substantial factors in Stow’s injuries.
Question four was whether Bryan Stow was negligent. If jurors answer yes then they have to decide whether his negligence was a substantial factor in causing his harm.
It’s unclear how many of the questions jurors have answered. Deliberations continue Monday.
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