LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Chicago Blackhawks fan claims in a lawsuit filed against the Staples Center that the arena lacked sufficient security and the arena’s loudspeaker incited violence against supporters of visiting teams, causing him to be beaten by drunken Los Angeles Kings fans.
Bruce Dobrowski’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against team owner Anschutz Entertainment Group alleges violation of a safety statute. His wife and fellow plaintiff, Catherine Dobrowski, alleges loss of consortium.
The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, is seeking $1.5 million.
According to the complaint, the couple attended game three of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center on May 24, 2014, with friends and dressed in Blackhawk attire. Their visible support of the visiting team made them “unassuming prime targets for the anger and hostility by Kings fans who had become fueled by the AEG-Staples Center’s unchecked provision for sale of beer and wine,” according to the lawsuit.
The anti-Blackhawk atmosphere was further exacerbated by arena loudspeaker broadcasts of hometown fans chanting such things as “Go Kings, kill Hawks,” the lawsuit stated.
Bruce Dobrowski and one of his companions were “brutally assaulted and battered, in plain sight of inept, understaffed and ineffective security,” the suit alleges.
Dobrowski says he was forced to “fend for himself after rendered semi-conscious from blows with the singular assistance provided only by one other good Samaritan attendee.”
Dobrowski’s face was lacerated and his facial bones were permanently fractured, the suit states. He also suffered injuries to his back, neck, upper torso and hands, and additionally experienced emotional distress.
Dobrowski’s injuries have “interfered and curtailed the marital relationship” between him and his wife, according to the complaint.
The Kings beat the Blackhawks that night, 4-3. They went on to win the series and later their second Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers in the finals.
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