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Jury Awards $18 Million to Giants Fan Beaten at Dodgers Stadium

Most San Francisco Giants fans likely remember the brutal beating of Bryan Stow, which took place when Stow and a couple friends went down to watch the Giants play their first game of the 2011 season at Dodgers stadium in Los Angeles. Well, after years of litigation and the sentencing of Stow's assailants (who received 4 and 8 years in prison, respectively), a jury has found that the Dodgers organization was partly responsible for the attack, awarding Stow $18 million in damages.

According to SFGate, the jury found that the Dodgers were 25% responsible for the attack because they did not provide enough security to prevent it from happening. Each of the assailants were found to be 37.5% responsible, and Frank McCourt, the former Dodgers owner, was absolved of responsibility. Stow's attorney argued that in addition to not having enough security guards on duty, the Dodgers created an environment that engendered aggression. This included excessive beer sales, unquestionably a factor in many of these violent episodes.

It's still unclear what total sum the Dodgers will have to pay. This depends on how much of the verdict was apportioned by the jury for economic damages and how much it designated for pain and suffering. One thing that is to be expected is that the two assailants likely won't be able to pay whatever they're responsible for, so Stow probably isn't going to see that full $18 million.

Nevertheless, this verdict is a big win for Stow, who will likely spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He will need 24-hour in-home medical care as a result of his traumatic brain injury, and he already spent upwards of six months in the hospital, so his medical bills are undoubtedly through the roof by now. This was a horrific event that forever changed the course of an innocent man's life, but this verdict will go a long way toward helping Stow live out his days with the care he needs.

Of tremendous import here is that this verdict sends a message to professional and amateur teams everywhere that they have a responsibility to provide adequate security to prevent this needless violence. No matter what your team is, you should be able to wear your jersey and root on your boys in any stadium without fearing for your life. I love baseball more than I love a lot of other things. I grew up living and breathing baseball, and I am still to this day a huge Giants fan and season ticket holder. But if Dodgers fans want to come to AT&T Park when their team is in town, they should be able to do that without worrying what might happen. And the security at AT&T park or any other park better be sure to protect them or anyone else from unwanted abusive and violent advances or attacks.

Rivalries are healthy in sports. It's just when they turn violent that they start to sour. MLB teams and other pro sports teams are making more than enough money to invest in their fans' safety, and now hopefully this verdict will incentivize them to double down on maintaining a friendly environment at their games.

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