Dodger Stadium beating victim Bryan Stow will require daily medical care and therapy every day for the rest of his life, and it is projected to cost $34 million, according to attorneys for his family.
Medical expenses to date have already approached $5 million, said Thomas Girardi, attorney for the Stow family. His firm has retained experts who determined the $34 million figure, Girardi said.
The medical expenses and other damages are being sought in a lawsuit already filed against the then-ownership of the Dodgers at the time of the 2011 attack. The suit contends the Dodgers organization was negligent and failed to provide adequate safety and security in the ballpark and surrounding parking areas.
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The civil suit is separate from the criminal case that was resolved Thursday against the two assailants, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood.
Sanchez and Norwood pleaded guilty to counts of mayhem and assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury, respectively.
Prior to sentencing, during victim impact statements, Stow family members referred to the permanent damage and disabilities the 45-year-old father suffers.
"Bryan's life was nearly taken from him and will never be the same," sister Erin Collins said.
The courtroom heard detailed and at times graphic descriptions of the amount of care Stow needs to have done for him by his parents, sisters, and others.
"We shower him, dress him, fix his meals and make sure he gets his 13 medications all throughout the day," said another sister, Bonnie Stow.
Stow's mobility is limited. He is able to walk only a step or two on his own, according to Girardi of the firm Girardi and Keese.
"The key is to help him get the care he needs and to take a little bit of the burden off the family," Girardi said.
A paramedic and resident of Santa Cruz, Stow had traveled to Los Angeles to root for the San Francisco Giants in the 2011 season opener. There was testimony at the preliminary hearing for the criminal case that Sanchez instigated confrontations with Giants fans.
In the parking lot after the game, Stow was blindsided by a punch, and fell backwards to the ground. Witnesses recounted the sickening thud they heard when Stow's skull struck the pavement. That incapacitated him, but he suffered additional injuries as he was repeatedly kicked.
"We are pleased that the culpable parties have finally accepted responsibility for their actions and have been sentenced for their crimes," reads a statement issued Thursday by the Dodgers.
"Because of the pending civil action, the Dodgers decline to comment further on the matter."
The civil suit contends that at the time of the attack, Dodgers ownership and management were cutting corners on security and parking lot lighting. In 2011, the Dodgers were still under the ownership of Frank McCourt.
A year later, with the organization deeply in debt, the ball club and stadium were purchased by a group of investors led by Guggenheim Partners.
Girardi faults McCourt's leadership and credits the Dodgers current ownership with improving security. Current ownership is not a target of the suit, Girardi said.
Attorneys for McCourt have asserted that what befell Stow was solely the result of the criminal action by the perpetrators, and that the Dodgers organization was not negligent.
Sanchez was sentenced to eight years in state prison. Norwood received four years, though in fact with the time he has served in custody awaiting trial, plus credits, he has already fulfilled his term.
Norwood would be released if not for a separate federal warrant on a weapons violation charge.
An August hearing has been scheduled to determine how much restitution will be assessed Sanchez and Norwood.
Given that both qualified for publicly-appointed attorneys, neither of the former Rialto residents have significant financial resources that could cover much of Stow's medical expenses, nor his loss of income.
"No sentencing you receive will ever be long enough," said Collins to Sanchez and Norwood during her victim impact statement. "Eventually you will be cleared. Bryan's sentence is a lifetime."