By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Bryan Stow would not be confined to a wheelchair, would not need 24-hour care, would not bear scars on his head had the Los Angeles Dodgers put more money into security at Dodger Stadium, his attorney said.
In his opening statement Thursday in the trail of a lawsuit filed on behalf of Stow and his two children, Thomas Girardi accused the team of whittling down the quality of its security staff, thereby creating an environment where Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, could be attacked on opening day when the crowd numbered 56,000.
“There is a great deal of hostility in games like this,” Girardi said. “There is a difference in going to the Hollywood Bowl and watching a night of the symphony versus going to one of these games.”
The lawsuit accuses the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt of failing to provide proper security and lighting on the night Stow was beaten unconscious. Stow suffered severe brain injuries that required part of his skull to be removed.
The paramedic had driven with friends from Santa Cruz for the March 2011 game. Wearing Giants gear, the group was taunted during the game.
Girardi said no usher was present in their section that night and that just 19 uniformed Los Angeles police officers were inside the stadium.
After the game, Stow was severely beaten in a Dodger Stadium parking lot. The two security guards that should have been in Parking Lot 2 were absent, Girardi said. The Dodgers had an obligation to make sure the area was reasonably safe, he said.
“But it costs money,” he said.