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Los Angeles Dodgers File Motion to Disallow Stow Bankruptcy Court Claim

 

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Angeles Dodgers LLC ("LAD", "Dodgers") today reported that it has filed a motion to disallow all claims (the "Stow Claim") asserted by Bryan Stow, Tyler Stow and Tabitha Stow against the Los Angeles Dodgers with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

On March 31, 2011, which was Opening Day for the Dodgers' 2011 baseball season, Stow was injured during an altercation that occurred after the baseball game ended in Parking Lot 2, situated on the outer ring of the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium.  Stow subsequently filed a complaint in California state court against more than a dozen defendants, including LAD and other debtors.  Stow's lawsuit, as against the debtors, was automatically stayed under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code when the debtors filed for bankruptcy protection on June 27, 2011.  Stow filed the Stow claim with the bankruptcy court on July 11, 2011.  Also in July, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested two individuals, Marvin Norwood and Louis Sanchez, as suspects in the altercation with Stow.  These individuals also attended the Opening Day game and sat on the opposite side of the stadium from where Stow was seated. Neither individual is part of the Dodger organization.  Norwood and Sanchez are currently in criminal custody awaiting trial.

The Dodgers have moved that the Bankruptcy Court disallow the Stow claim in its entirety because, as a matter of law, Stow cannot prevail in his claims against the debtors.

The debtors' motion makes clear, among other points:

  • As a matter of law, Stow cannot prove any link between the additional security related steps that Stow contends the debtors should have taken and his injuries;
  • Stow cannot show that anything about the security personal staffing on Opening Day caused his injuries and, furthermore, the security staffing at the game greatly exceeded all requirements of California state law;
  • The Dodgers had no knowledge of any inappropriate conduct by Stow's assailants prior to the time that Stow sustained his injuries and, as a matter of law, are not liable for failure to anticipate criminal acts of third parties;
  • The California Court of Appeals has recognized that allegedly inadequate lighting cannot support a finding that a property owner "caused" an attack by a third party on its premises.  Moreover, Stow cannot show that inadequate lighting caused his injuries and, in fact, the Stow complaint alleges that the altercation "took place over a prolonged period of time and drew the attention of various other patrons," which if true demonstrates that the assailants were unconcerned with concealing themselves from others;
  • Contrary to Stow's lawyers' contentions, there was no "half-off" beer promotion at Opening Day and, thus, could not have had anything to do with his injury;
  • The Dodgers cannot be held liable for failing to escort Stow and his companions through the parking lot; and, furthermore, neither Stow, nor anyone else in his party, ever asked to be escorted or for any other assistance;
  • The Dodgers are not liable for the presence of persons who might be gang members and, in any case, there is no evidence that Norwood or Sanchez are gang members, or that the Dodgers had any knowledge of gang membership or prior criminal conduct by either of Stow's assailants.

In addition, the debtors' motion makes clear that, based on the material facts that are not genuinely at issue, and, as a matter of law, no basis exists for Stow's claim for punitive damages.  Accordingly, Los Angeles Dodgers have moved that the bankruptcy court should grant summary judgment disallowing all punitive damage claims against LAD.

Contact: Robert Siegfried/Lyndsey Estin/Stef Goodsell Kekst and Company 212.521.4800

SOURCE Los Angeles Dodgers

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