By Linda Deutsch
LOS ANGELES — A negligence lawsuit against the Los Angeles Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt over a beating that left a San Francisco Giants fan with brain damage was put in the hands of a jury Thursday after closing arguments by attorneys.
The lawyer for victim Bryan Stow asked for $37.2 million in actual damages and suggested doubling it to account for pain and suffering. The defense argued there should be no finding of liability and no damages.
Much of the testimony during the trial focused on Stow's need for lifetime care, and the contention that there was insufficient security to protect fans at the game on Opening Day of 2011.
Witnesses said no security guards were visible in the parking lot where Stow was beaten after the game between the rival teams.
The defense countered that there was more security than at any other Dodgers opening day in history, and no one could have prevented the assault on Stow.
Defense attorney Dana Fox said responsibility for the beating lies with Dodger fans Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, who pleaded guilty in the beating.
Fox also cited testimony that Stow's blood-alcohol level was .18 percent and a witness account of Stow yelling in the parking lot with his arms up in the air.
"There were three parties responsible — Sanchez, Norwood and, unfortunately, Stow himself. There were things Mr. Stow did that put these things in action," Fox said.
Stow's attorney, Tom Girardi, argued that the Dodgers failed their responsibility to keep fans safe.
"Dodger Stadium got to a place where it was a total mess," Girardi said. "There was a culture of violence. Beer sales were off the charts."
He also said, "The only thing Bryan Stow was doing was wearing a jersey that said 'Giants.' "
Girardi said jurors must decide whether the Dodgers exercised reasonable care to protect fans, and he asserted that there should have been more uniformed police officers at the stadium.
Girardi also suggested that the jury assign 100 percent of the fault to the team.
The closing arguments came a day after Stow sat front and center in court.
Stow, 45, didn't testify, but his appearance in a wheelchair showed jurors the ghastly scars on his head where his skull was temporarily removed during treatment.
Jurors also saw a brief video of the two men who went to prison for beating Stow.
Girardi said outside court Wednesday that the former paramedic has no memory of the events and had to be told why he was sitting in the courtroom.