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Fans Debate Dodgers' Liability in Bryan Stow Lawsuit

The Dodgers are claiming they are not liable for Stow's beating, and fans are divided on the issue. What do you think?

The tragic one-year anniversary of Bryan Stow's beating at Dodger Stadium (March 31) is fast approaching, but a year of separation from the event has brought little closure to the Stow family and the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Stow, a Santa Cruz man and Santa Clara EMT with family in Capitola, spoke on camera with NBC in December for the first time since being brutally mauled.

In May, a suit was filed on behalf of Stow and his children against the Los Angeles Dodgers claiming owner Frank McCourt and other Dodgers officials were responsible for the beating as owners of the building, which the suit says lacks sufficient security. 

According to MLB.com, on Feb. 3, the Dodgers filed a motion against those claims on the grounds that "Stow cannot prove any link between additional security steps he contended should have been taken and his injuries or that the security staffing that day caused his injuries."

Two men, Marvin Norwood and Louis Sanchez, have been arrested in connection with the beating. Stow's suit argues that because Norwood and Sanchez are known criminals or gang members, the Dodgers should have provided him with an escort from their presence. The Dodgers contend that "Stow never asked for an escort and there is no evidence that the assailants are known criminals or gang members."

In light of the Dodgers' response to the case, fans on both sides of the NL West divide have spoken out. See an array of their responses below and tell us what you think in the comments.

Freddy Sherman, fan/Yahoo! Sports columnist: "As a Dodger fan who attended many games at Dodger Stadium, I was aware of both the lack of security and the prevalence of a thug-ish element, which, when combined with alcohol, causes a really bad combination. I agree with the Stow family's contention that the Dodgers are (at least partially) liable for the injuries as they were negligent in providing a secure environment for fans."

NatsReds4DodgersinDC via Dodgers.com:"That it happened on Dodger property doesn't matter. Property owners must protect against KNOWN dangerous conditions, and this wasn't known because there wasn't a history."

Pete Baker via Yahoo! Sports: "I'd like to think that all the places to go in LA that I'd be safe at a ball game. It wasnt directly the Dodgers' fault however some responsibility should be aimed in their direction. I also feel strongly that this case should have never gone to court. It should have been discussed and dealt with behind closed doors months ago."

Anonymous via Dodgers.com: "Anyone who is too scared to go to Dodger Stadium, they're not from LA. There's only one simple rule to live by, so all Giants fans and everyone one else at Dodgers stadium: Don't start none, there wont be none!"

Manuel via Yahoo! Sports: "I don't agree with what happened to him. But everyone is responsible for their own actions. Stow was not as innocent as people say. He and his friends were taunting people and the messed with the wrong people."

BurbankDodger via Dodgers.com: "I have always gone to at least 20 games a year but over the last few years I've been going less and less. Im proud to say last year I went to ZERO games. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to see that Dodger Stadium isn't safe. I will probably never go again because I honestly believe it is impossible to take your family there and not feel threatened."

Ras Joseph via Yahoo! Sports: "Shouldn't there be regulations on certain things, like especially if you wear opposing colors you might have a chance of being put into a coma. This isn't O.K. because L.A. is well known for their gang activity."

Anonymous via Dodgers.com: "I feel sorry for the Stow family. I'm a paramedic myself. It's sad that it happened and blackened the game a little. But Wal-Mart doesn't provide security. Does that mean if someone punches me in the parking lot I should file a lawsuit against them for Wal-Mart failing to provide for my security? No way. If something occurred in the stands that concerned Stow then he should have then told security or an usher. To say that Dodgers allowed known gang members in the stadium is absurd. How is a baseball team going to know who's a previous criminal? And last I looked it's not against the law for a gang member to legally attend a game. Not to mention it's L.A., a third of the crowd is probably a gang member."

SoBlu via Dodgers.com: "Frank gutted the security, and provided only the bare minimum. You get what you pay for. Now pay the man's medical bills."

Where do you stand on the debate? Tell us in the comments!

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Ja February 15, 2012 at 09:11 PM
This is ridiculous just another person trying to take advantage of a business and get something for nothing. Stow was not innocent he instigated the actions that led to his beating. For the dodgers to be held liable is ludicrous. No one in the Dodger organization beat stow with a bat. If McCourt or colleti had physically beat stow then I could see them having to take responsibility.
Hector Rodriguez February 15, 2012 at 10:33 PM
I agree, is not their fault. This is just a frivolous law suit that unfortunately will end up getting settled out of court. All they want is money from the Dodger organization. Is their building but no one forced Bryan to go all the way down to L.A. to the stadium. What happened to common sense and taking responsibility of their own acts. I feel sorry for him, but a lawsuit like that is just a bunch of crap
Jacob Bourne (Editor) February 15, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Certainly it was Bryan's choice to go to Dodger Stadium, but no one expects to be beaten for choosing to go to a baseball game. Perhaps the more pertinent question is: Should the Dodgers beef up their stadium security this coming year in light of the incident, or should fans take more responsibility for their behavior? What do you guys think?
Hector Rodriguez February 16, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Definitely fans need to take responsibility. You attend a public event at your own risk and is your choice to be there. You can have an organization to babysit all the fans at all times. I mean, what's the security guard to fan ratio in all stadiums or public events?
Emily Halbig February 16, 2012 at 12:30 AM
He instigated, how? By wearing orange & black and cheering for the Giants? That does not justify the actions of the men that beat him nor the inactions of the organization that allowed it. Speaking from personal experience, I know that there is nowhere near enough security in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.
Emily Halbig February 16, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Of course they want money. The medical costs that have accumulated so far and will continue throughout his lifetime will be in the millions and should be paid for by these neglectful owners.
Hector Rodriguez February 16, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Emily, weather you like it or not. Is a frivolous lawsuit, Just the same as people filling lawsuits against McDonalds because they are overweight or people filling lawsuits against beer companies because a drunk driver crash into them. Like I said, if the Dodgers Stadium is know for being insecure why does people still going to the games. A smart person would stay away from a place like that. If you get mugged or beat up at the Target parking lot, are going to sue Target? That's just dumb and ambitious. This lawsuit has to be dismissed, but is going to be settled outside of court, just to not waste time and money that would cost to tax payers in a court room.
Emily Halbig February 16, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Hector, are you a homeowner? The law states that if anyone comes onto your property and they are injured - whether accidentally or by another person, you are responsible. I can get sued if someone comes onto my property (invited or not) and is injured, intentionally or otherwise. As owner of Dodger Stadium and the parking lot, McCourt and his cronies are legally responsible for a fan's safety and should be required to pay for the medical bills that were a result of the beating.
Mary Lou McKenney February 16, 2012 at 09:18 PM
The argument that the property owner bears no responsibility would soon empty sports venues (like maybe Raider's games!?). Presumably F. McCourt had liability insurance - you couldn't operate in a city without it. Stowe's injuries will be covered by the insurance - that's what it's for.
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