Jury selection began in Los Angeles Tuesday for the trial of a lawsuit over the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium after the March 2011 opening day game between the rival teams.
Stow watched from a wheelchair Tuesday as prospective jurors were instructed to fill out questionnaires. The paramedic from Santa Cruz, California, suffered disabling brain damage in the beating, for which two men pleaded guilty to criminal charges earlier this year.
Stow was joined by his caregiver, relatives and children and stayed for the court session.
"This is a major damage case, and I wanted the jury just to have a glimpse of him. That's all. He's not going to sit through this trial," Stow's attorney Tom Girardi said. "On the other hand, to see this young vibrant person who lived his life helping people as a paramedic, now all of the sudden he can't get out of the wheelchair by himself."
"So this wasn't a big sympathy play or anything like that, but the jury has to understand what this whole case is all about," Girardi said.
The civil liability and negligence suit seeks millions of dollars in damages from the Los Angeles Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt.
Lawyers have estimated that lifetime care for Stow, a father of two, could cost $50 million.
Attorneys for the Dodgers spoke to the prospective jurors before they were handed the questionnaire, which included topics such as knowledge of brain injuries, comas and their impressions of security and experiences at Dodger Stadium.
They contend the most security in the history of opening day events at Dodger Stadium was present during the attack.
They also spoke to the jurors about Stow's blood alcohol content when he was admitted to the hospital after the attack, and made a reference to Stow raising his arms in the air before the confrontation at Dodger Stadium.
Two men charged in the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan pleaded guilty in February and accepted plea deals in the Dodger Stadium attack.
Louie Sanchez, 31, pleaded guilty to a felony count of mayhem and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Marvin Norwood, 32, pleaded guilty to assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and was sentenced to four years behind bars.
As part of the plea agreement, all other charges against the men were dropped. Both men had originally been charged with mayhem, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.