Created on Thursday, 29 May 2014 Written by LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Opening statements were expected to begin Thursday in a lawsuit brought by beating victim Bryan Stow against the Los Angeles Dodgers and its former owner, Frank McCourt.
A jury was chosen Wednesday to hear the civil negligence case brought by Stow, after lawyers spent all day questioning prospects after reading through their answers to a six-page written questionnaire.
A total of 16 jurors were selected, eight men and eight women. Four of them will become alternates but the panelists will not know until the trial's end which 12 will actually deliberate and make the decision.
Superior Court Judge Victor Chavez set opening statements for Thursday morning.
Stow, 45, the San Francisco Giants fan whose beating at Dodgers Stadium became a symbol of violence associated with sports events, sat in court in a specially equipped wheelchair as prospective jurors were questioned. Two men have pleaded guilty to criminal charges of assaulting him.
The civil jury will focus on whether the Dodgers and McCourt provided sufficient security in April 2011 for the opening game with Los Angeles' fierce rival, the San Francisco Giants.
Witnesses at a preliminary hearing in criminal court testified that security guards were not present in the parking lot where Stow was beaten and kicked by Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood. Stow's lawyer said the pair who wore Dodgers gear attacked Stow for wearing a Giants shirt.
Stow suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled. His lawyers say his lifetime care could cost $50 million.
A lawyer representing the team and McCourt said the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Police Department provided the single largest security force for a Dodgers game in history.
In another development, lawyers agreed to halve the number of defendants, leaving the former Dodgers owner and one entity, Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, remaining as defendants. The agreement means two other team companies, Blue Landco LLC and L.A.Real Estate LLC, are no longer part of the case.