San Francisco Attorney Comments on Damages in Brutal Fan Beating

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Along with much of the country, our San Francisco personal injury attorney was shocked by last year’s beating of a Giants fan. There is no excuse for such violence. However, as an experienced San Francisco victim’s law firm, we know that the law can provide vital compensation as the victim travels the long path to recovery.

Bryan Stow was brutally beaten in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium on March 31, 201, opening day for last year’s baseball season. Marvin Norwood and Louis Sanchez have pled guilty and are awaiting trial following their arrest for the assault. Stowe has also filed legal claims against the Dodgers alleging that the team’s poor security and general negligence, including the alleged sale of half-priced beer (a disputed claim), contributed to the attack. The ball club is currently in federal bankruptcy proceedings and recent filings suggest the team has debts totaling $573 million. Stow’s claims have been brought in the Delaware proceedings as is required by bankruptcy law. Both The Los Angeles Times and The Oakland Tribune report that the Dodger organization filed a forty-four page motion last week asking the court to reject Stow’s claims, asserting that he cannot prove a connection between the claimed failures and the assault.

We do not have enough information to comment on the viability of Stowe’s claims. However, this lawsuit raises several important issues that apply generally to compensation the personal injury arena. First, and often foremost, a verdict is only as good as the plaintiff’s ability to pay. Stowe’s injuries were severe and will have long-term impacts and his lawyers have estimated the costs related to the beating to be $50 million. Despite the bankruptcy, the Dodgers are much more likely to carry insurance that could pay a verdict than the assailants. In vehicle-related injuries, individual plaintiffs typically have applicable insurance but that is not always the case in other situations. It is important for victims to have a skilled, experienced Northern California personal injury lawyer who can help ensure all avenues for recovery are fully explored and all relevant defendants included in a lawsuit.

As a related matter, this case reminds us of the importance of asking for the full range of damages allowed under the law. Courts can include both already-incurred and reasonably-expected damages in a personal injury award. With brain injuries such as Stowe’s, the financial impact will be life-long. Expert testimony can be key in these cases. Damages for pain and suffering are also important and experienced legal counsel can help a victim with the unpleasant task of putting numbers on the more intangible impact of an injury. Further, as in this case, it may be appropriate to seek damages on behalf of the injured party’s loved ones. According to news reports, claims have been filed not only on Stowe’s behalf but also on the behalf of his minor children who have lost the full participation of their father in their lives.

Asking for compensation is not greedy. Compensation is a victim’s right. Without a skilled, experienced legal advocate, a victim may not identify all potential sources and forms of recovery. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact our San Francisco injury law firm for help seeking justice.

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