Expert: Care, lost wages for beaten San Francisco Giants fan could total $37 million

Linda Deutsch / The Associated Press
June 16, 2014 04:39 PM

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Lawyers for a San Francisco Giants fan gravely disabled after a beating at Dodger Stadium rested their case in a negligence suit Monday after an expert said Bryan Stow's lost wages and medical costs could total more than $37 million over his lifetime.

A lawyer for the Dodgers and former team owner Frank McCourt challenged the figures but also told jurors they could not consider them unless they first determine the defendants are liable for Stow's injuries.

Defence lawyers planned to begin calling witnesses Tuesday and estimated their case would last five days. The suit could go to jurors for a decision next week.

The plaintiff's nearly-three-week case focused on Stow's injuries and lapses in security at Dodger Stadium when the beating occurred. Another plaintiff's witness, former Vice-President of Stadium Operations Francine Hughes, said she was in charge of eight different departments including security.

She testified she never heard anyone complain during staff meetings that they were short of security people in spite of staff member's earlier testimony to the contrary. She said the Dodgers had the largest security force in its history for the 2011 Opening Day game between the two California rivals.

Asked by attorney Tom Girardi why no one responded to a huge fight that broke out in the stands and later to the beating in the parking lot, she replied in a flat voice, "If they would have observed it and been in that location they would have responded."

She repeated the same answer several times as Girardi pressed her on the issue.

Forensic accountant Richard S. Barnes Spent half a day showing jurors charts of figures estimating the cost of Stow's loss of income and lifetime care. The negligence lawsuit was filed on behalf of Stow, who was beaten in a stadium parking lot.

He said it was clear that Stow, who suffered severe brain damage, will never work again.

Under questioning by plaintiff's lawyer David Lira, Barnes said he based his estimates partly on lost wages for Stow, a paramedic being paid $114,000 a year at the time of his beating.

He also calculated that Stow might live to be 79, that he would have received Social Security at 67, and that he would likely have to go to a residential care facility.

Barnes testified that even if Stow remained at home to receive care, the lifetime totals would still be $32.5 million.

The totals came with several different calculations for Stow's lifetime cost possibilities.

Jurors appeared somewhat confused by the array of charts showing various combinations of figures, and they asked the judge to clarify the numbers. The judge said the charts were not to be taken as evidence but instead as an aid to help the jury if its own potential calculations become necessary.

Stow's parents sat in the front row of court.


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