Former Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt Testifies in Bryan Stow Beating Trial

Civil lawsuit alleges Dodgers and McCourt failed to provide adequate security for the 2011 season opener when Stow was severely beaten

Former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt provided testimony Friday in the civil trial stemming from an attack on Giants fan Bryan Stow during opening day in 2011 at Dodger Stadium.

Attorneys for Stow claimed in the negligence lawsuit that McCourt and the Dodgers failed to provide adequate security at the March 31, 2011 season opener when Stow was beaten by two men in the stadium parking lot.

David Lira, a lawyer for victim Bryan Stow, asked McCourt whether he had hands-on involvement in security matters. McCout testified that he was committed to fan safety, but was not involved in the details of the safety operation at Dodger Stadium.

He also testified that he suggested the drafting of a fan code of conduct, which was adopted.

"I appreciated the opportunity to be able to address the jurors today regarding the Bryan Stow matter," McCourt said outside court. "Like all Dodgers fans, I was appalled at the criminal behavior of (Louis) Sanchez and (Marvin) Norwood. Make no mistake, they're the parties resposible for this tragic incident."

He was referring to the two men who accepted criminal responsibility for the attacks in February and received prison sentences. 

Stow suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled. His lawyers say his lifetime care could cost $50 million.

Stow's father was asked what he thought of McCourt's testimony.

"Not much," said David Stow.

During opening statements in the civil trial, a lawyer for the Dodgers and McCourt aggressively argued that it was intoxication and flared tempers that caused the fight, and that the team provided adequate security at the stadium. The attorney also said Stow inflamed the situation with comments and gestures toward the two men who later pleaded guilty to beating him.

Stow, 45, was in court when jurors in the civil case were selected, but has not appeared since last week.

Jurors Thursday heard the 911 call placed by one of Stow’s friends immediately after the altercation.

Earlier in the week, doctors testified that the beating also caused long-term loss of intellectual capability.

McCourt paid $430 million in 2004 to buy the team, Dodger Stadium and 250 acres of land that includes parking lots, from the Fox division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., a sale that left the team with about $50 million in cash at the time.

The Dodgers went into bankruptcy protection in June 2011 and the next year McCourt sold the team for $2 billion to a group that included former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson. The group vowed to restore dignity to the storied franchise after the era of McCourt, who was widely reviled by Dodgers fans for driving the Dodgers to the brink of bankruptcy.

In bankruptcy filings, attorneys for Major League Baseball said McCourt looted more than $180 million in revenue from the club.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd and Patrick Healy contributed to this report.

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