Crime & Justice

Bryan Stow trial: Jury begins deliberating in civil suit against Dodgers (updated)

Bryan Stow family lawyer Tom Girardi talks to press outside courthouse after his case against the Los Angeles Dodgers goes to the jury on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Bryan Stow family lawyer Tom Girardi talks to press outside courthouse after his case against the Los Angeles Dodgers goes to the jury on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Shirley Jahad/KPCC

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Update 12:12 p.m. The jury has begun deliberating in the civil lawsuit against the Dodgers over a fight that left Giants fan Bryan Stow brain damaged.

Dana Fox, attorney for former Dodgers ownership and Frank McCourt, maintained in his closing arguments that the team had the largest security force for its 2011 opening day game in the history of the stadium.

Fox reiterated that the annual and opening day security budgets increased every year.

He said lawyers for Stow failed to show McCourt was negligent. "They have to give you some evidence somewhere that what Frank McCourt did was negligent," Fox said. "You have no evidence — zero — of what Mr. McCourt as an individual did wrong in this case."

Stow suffered severe brain damage in an attack by two Dodgers fans, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, both of whom pleaded guilty to criminal charges. The family has sought to place blame on the team's ownership for failing to provide sufficient security.

"There are a lot of grey areas in this case," Fox said. "But there are a few undeniable truths. The only people who hit and physically injured Stow are Sanchez and Norwood," he said. "Take them out of the equation, we are not here," Fox said. And that is exactly the point lawyers for Stow have been making. They say Dodgers security should have taken Sanchez and Norwood out of the ballpark hours earlier.

Fox repeated to the jury that Stow holds a burden of bringing on the attack.

"Sadly Mr. Stow himself is partly responsible," said Fox. “There were things Mr Stow did to put these events into action."

Fox said again Stow had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.

Earlier:  Dodgers 'didn't do doodly squat' to prevent fight, attorney says

The lawyer representing San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow accused the Dodgers of not doing "doodly squat" to prevent a fight that left Stow brain damaged, speaking in closing arguments Thursday in Stow's civil lawsuit in Los Angeles against the team.

"The reason they didn’t do doodly squat is because they wanted to watch the budget," said Tom Girardi, the veteran attorney representing the Stow family.

Girardi used his closing argument to instruct the jury on the financial compensation the family may be due.

"I don’t know if I’ve ever represented a nicer person than [Stow]," Girardi said. "This mom and dad and sister have devoted their lives" now to helping Bryan. "So here we are hoping we can get justice," he said.

"There’s a huge defense in this case. That’s the ABM defense. Anybody But McCourt," Girardi said of the Dodgers ownership. He pointed to the law that says property owners have the primary responsibility for safety.

Girardi countered claims from McCourt lawyers, who describe the event as a "testosterone fueled fight" that went in a flash and was over in seconds.

Girardi said, "Well, it didn’t happen in a second." He said the men who beat Stow were insulting and assaulting people for hours through the game and afterwards.

Girardi said the Dodgers could have stopped the fight and should have kicked assailants Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood out of the ballpark hours earlier for their unruly and violent behavior. He said they had physical run-ins with four other sets of Giants fans before they beat Stow.

Proper security wasn’t in place, Girardi said. No security was in Lot 2, where the attack happened. Two officers were assigned but they were elsewhere in the stadium and didn’t show up for more than half an hour.

Lawyers for the former Dodgers ownership have said Stow is also responsible for the beating because he was drunk. To counter that, Girardi said, "Stow’s alcohol level doesn’t mean anything if all he is doing is walking in a nice manner." He reminded jurors that Stow used to be a paramedic. "Paramedics spend their lives helping people."

Lawyers for the former Dodgers ownership were scheduled to deliver their closing arguments as the trial continues.