Baseball / Sports

Jury selection begins in civil trial for Dodger Stadium beating

LOS ANGELES -- Sitting in a wheelchair in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday, Bryan Stow slowly shook hands with his attorney.

With members of his family sitting near him, Stow was in court for the first day of jury selection in a trial of a lawsuit that accuses the Los Angeles Dodgers and its former owner Frank McCourt of failing to provide proper security and lighting on the night Stow was beaten unconscious three years ago.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the San Francisco Giants fan and his two children contends that McCourt focused on funneling money into his lavish lifestyle while depleting the Dodgers of necessary funds for adequate operations.

"The lack of security and inadequate lighting presented a perfect opportunity to commit a variety of crimes. Unfortunately for Bryan Stow, this is exactly what happened," the complaint says.

Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, was wearing Giants gear when he attended opening day at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011. After being repeatedly taunted throughout the game, he was attacked in a parking lot. Placed in a medically induced coma, he had part of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain.

Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez, both of Rialto, in San Bernardino County, pleaded guilty to the attack this year.

As a result of the attack, Stow can only walk short distances and speak a few words at a time. The suit seeks general and punitive damages, as well as reimbursement to those who donated to the Bryan Stow fund. McCourt's insurers and not the current Dodgers owners would be liable for any damages.

In February, Stow's attorney Thomas Girardi said that Stow's care had already cost more than $5 million and that an additional estimated $34 million would be needed to treat him for the remainder of his life.

Girardi said a jury could be impaneled as early as Wednesday. Before then, attorneys will read through completed jury questionnaires.

Potential jurors were asked in the questionnaire whether they know anyone who has been in a coma or diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. They were also asked whether they had ever been in a physical altercation.

In an effort to learn whether potential jurors are Dodgers or Giants fans, they were asked how many times they have attended a game featuring one of those teams. The questionnaire also asked their opinion on the Dodgers, Dodger Stadium and Frank McCourt.

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