Bryan Stow's family is suing the Los Angeles Dodgers for providing inadequate security the day of his beating at Dodger Stadium, which is certainly to have been expected.
You may argue the matter at your leisure with your friends over a steaming hot cup of Jagermeister. The legalities are the legalities, and they will all be sorted out by the justice system.
|The very thing -- security -- that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt failed to spend on is costing him now. (Getty Images)|
"They've added all these off-duty police officers now. Would this have happened if they were there before?" Girardi said in a press conference. "The Dodgers have, at least in our view, inappropriately spent their money. They pay the highest rent of any other team in baseball, and of course we know they pay that rent to the McCourts."
Hello there, Mal Feasance, and how are you today? Now guess what comes next?
"This incident wouldn't have happened if just proper care had been taken with regard to security, and now the results are hideous."
And now, the kicker.
The lawsuit alleges that "failure to take preventative measures at Dodger Stadium was based on the defendants lack of finances and misappropriation of finances and/or misuse of corporate funds for personal use at the expense of safety at Dodger Stadium."
This is a claim that has also been a part of the move to remove McCourt as the team owner by both Jamie McCourt, the angry ex-, and Bud Selig, who I guess you can call the other angry ex-. Mainly, that Frank has made such an unholy mess of the Dodgers through his money moving and profit-taking that the team can no longer function properly.
And this lawsuit seamlessly drafts those arguments into one more healthy squeeze of McCourt's already elfin-sized wing-tips. The very thing that is costing him the use of the Dodgers is now being used to make him pay the Stow family. Remarkable.
McCourt is one of 14 defendants in the civil suit, including several of his own holding companies. He has been knocked about on all fronts since he and Jamie decided to go to their separate artillery batteries, and since he's the one who doesn't have the money, he's the one who faces the music. At this level of play, not having the money is very nearly de facto guilt.
This, though, is one particularly strident twist of the knife -- genuine victims using McCourt's business practices against him to ensure that the victim is compensated through the civil courts for the extensive pain and suffering he had and will continue to endure.
Thus will not be an argument about whether the family is entitled to pursue its claims in court. If you want it to be, go find another window. The law says they can sue, and that's that.
It's the argument here that is fascinating, because it tries to establish all of McCourt's other financial vulnerabilities as reason to pursue this action. And it makes the Stows and Selig odd bedfellows to boot.
On the one hand, Major League Baseball is holding up McCourt's control of the team by refusing to allow him to sign a new TV contract with Fox. This would seem to make it harder for the Stows to pursue their claims.
On the other, the Stows are using McCourt's inability to run his team on a sound financial footing that helped lead to his beating, which would seem at least on its face to be Selig's argument as well.
Either way, this lawsuit makes McCourt seem the one thing we didn't think he could be -- worse.
Not being a lawyer, there is no brief here save that the Stows get what they are entitled to for Bryan's care. He and they are victims of the first magnitude. Going to a ballpark and feeling confident that you will not be beaten into a coma seems a pretty rudimentary expectation.
And again, we don't know how valid their claim is against the Dodgers, which is why there are judges and lawyers and crack TV legal analysts and the like there. This will be sorted out by finer minds than those confronting you today.
But this will be an extraordinary argument to pursue because of the way it marries the family's interest with Major League Baseball's and Jamie McCourt's. Why, one could even see them subpoenaed and brought into court in the Stow case to help prove their own cases in their own proceedings.
In any event, Frank McCourt is in the soup again, in an utterly predictable yet deliciously unique way. If nothing else, the Stow case is one more way the McCourt/Dodger mess will be sliced, diced and grilled, if for no other reason than the following:
This time, the victim really is a victim.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.com