Bryan Stow Dodgers lawsuit: Media cannot know jury questions

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Stow lawsuit: Media cannot know jury questions
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Attorneys for Bryan Stow and the Dodgers have been ordered to withhold information from the media about jury questions.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Attorneys for both Bryan Stow and the Dodgers say they have been ordered to withhold information from the media about questions the jury is asking.

The new restrictions came Tuesday from Judge Victor Chavez, who is also sealing records of in-chamber conferences. Those records are usually public.

The new restrictions come as the jury sent out its first note in three days. Attorneys scurried for 25 minutes, leafing through large binders of transcripts. There was an audible reference to testimony on June 24.

On that day, medical witnesses for the Dodgers and Frank McCourt stated Stow had hit a plateau in his recovery. They also said further rehabilitation for his brain injury would bear little improvement, and Stow's future medical costs should be $11 million max, not the $34 million claimed by Stow's medical experts.

What is not known is whether the jurors have settled the first question on the verdict form: Were either the Dodgers or Frank McCourt negligent?

If the answer is no, there would be no need to discuss damages, and the case would over. But the jury told the judge last week they wanted to talk about the questions on the verdict form out of order.

That may sound like a waste of time, but legal analyst Barry Edwards says working backwards might help jurors connect dots or find there is no connection to be made.

"I think it sometimes makes it clearer because it raises an awareness of the jurors as to who may be liable when they do look at damages and causation," Edwards said.

Causation is a touchy issue, Edwards said. It was two combative Dodger fans who directly caused Stow's injuries. Jury instructions ask if the Dodgers enabled the attack through negligence, or if the organization provide "reasonable" care regarding security.

"It is an issue that jurors, I'm sure, are struggling with," Edwards said.

Deliberations will resume Wednesday.