A San Francisco man who was brutally beaten outside the Dodgers stadium was awarded almost $18 million in damages. The attack occurred on opening day in 2011. Bryan Stow, who was a Giants fan from Santa Cruz and the father of two young children, attended the game to cheer on the Giants against the Dodgers. Stow and his friends were taunted throughout the game. When they left the stadium, they had to walk across a dimly lit parking lot and were attacked from behind by the two Dodgers fans who were taunting him throughout the game. Stow was knocked to the ground and was kicked in the head extremely hard after he was lying on the ground.
The Dodgers fans seriously injured Stow. He was beaten unconscious and was left with brain damage and is now in a wheelchair. He will require around-the-clock medical help for the rest of his life. He sued the Dodgers, the former owner of the team Frank McCourt, as well as the two men who attacked him.
His attorney claimed that the former owner of the Dodgers failed to provide proper security, instead choosing to spend money on his lavish lifestyle. The attorney pointed out that the security budget for the team was only about 62 cents per fan who attended the game. However, the Dodgers’ attorney said that the team had increased security and provided more security for that game than any other opening game in team history. The attorney for the Dodgers pointed out that Stow himself shared some blame in the attack. Stow’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit for driving, and a witness claimed that he saw Stow raise his arms and yell at the two men.
The jury awarded almost $18 million, although Stow’s attorneys asked for $50 million. The Dodgers will have to pay about $13.9 million, and the men who attacked Stow are also responsible for part of the payout, although they are both now serving time in prison for the assault. The former owner of the Dodgers, Frank McCourt, was found by the jury to be not legally responsible for the attack.
This case is a good example of what can happen when a business owner fails to provide adequate security for its premises. If you have been injured on the property of a business as a result of a criminal attack, you may have a claim for inadequate security. If the owner of a business should be able to reasonably foresee that a criminal attack could occur on the premises, the owner has the legal responsibility to provide security to prevent that attack. In this situation, it was a heated opening day game at which beer was freely flowing and emotions were running high. It is foreseeable that some angry drunk fans could attack their rivals. The parking lot allegedly was dimly lit and not well-monitored by security guards.
Unfortunately, for this victim and other victims of criminal attacks that occur as a result of inadequate security, the attacks are often life changing. The attacks are not only physically damaging, but can take an emotional toll as well.
The key issue in many inadequate security attacks is foreseeability. Property owners have a duty to be aware of criminal activity on their premises and to take measures to protect against that activity. If a criminal attack occurs completely without any warning in a very low crime area, the property owner will probably not be found liable for the attack. However, if there are a lot of assaults or thefts in an area, and a property owner does nothing to protect against that known criminal activity, the property owner can be held liable for any criminal attacks that occur.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that property owners who profit from allowing customers onto their property have a duty to take measures to protect those customers from foreseeable criminal attacks. If you have been the victim of a criminal attack in the Oakland-San Francisco area, and you believe that the property owner was at least partially to blame, call Oakland-San Francisco personal injury attorney Micha Star Liberty at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. Call today to schedule your free consultation.