The Los Angeles Dodgers are being sued for negligence by a man who was attacked in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium and left with brain damage, his lawyers announced Friday.
The lawsuit, filed this week by Rafael Reyna and his wife, contends that the stadium lacked adequate security.
“We have no comment” on the lawsuit, team spokesman Joe Jareck said in an email.
Reyna, 45, was attacked while walking to his car shortly after midnight on March 30, 2019, after watching a 13-inning game that ended in a 5-4 win by the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to the lawsuit.
He was punched during an argument, authorities say.
The lawsuit said Reyna was on the phone with his wife, telling her that he was on his way home, when unknown attackers “punched him repeatedly, causing him to collapse onto the asphalt, strike his head, and lose consciousness,” while his wife heard the entire assault.
The parking lot lacked adequate lighting or security guards, and it took personnel at least 10 minutes to discover Reyna and longer for him to receive emergency medical care, the lawsuit alleged. It seeks unspecified damages.
Security staff reduced in cost-saving move
Reyna suffered a brain injury when his head hit the pavement, he spent days in a medically induced coma and the father of four still suffers effects of the injury, according to the lawsuit.
“His wife knows he has months if not years of physical therapy lying ahead.” Reyna’s lawyer, Carl Douglas, said in a statement.
Among other things, the lawsuit says the Dodgers were negligent for reducing security staff in 2008 and earlier as a cost-saving move, including ending the use of uniformed, off-duty Los Angeles police, and reintroducing in-seat beer sales in 2018.
The lack of LAPD-uniformed security personnel “emboldened wrongdoers at the stadium,” according to the lawsuit.
“As we all yearn for the return of baseball, this lawsuit reminds everyone that no team … can ever put their own thirst for profits over the safety of their loyal fans,” Douglas said.
The lawsuit also alleged that the Dodgers were aware of previous violence.
Bryan Stow, a father of two and former paramedic from Santa Cruz, was left with permanent brain damage when the Giants fan was attacked in the parking lot after an opening day 2011 game.
Two men pleaded guilty to beating Stow and were sent to federal prison. They also were ordered to pay a share of an $18 million US judgment against the Dodgers in a lawsuit by Stow that alleged inadequate stadium security.