Beating victim named to Dodgers creditor committee

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 13, 2011 5:04 PM
Beating victim named to Dodgers creditor committee

By Tom Hals

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - A representative of a baseball fan who was brutally beaten at an opening-day Los Angeles Dodgers game was named to a creditors committee in the bankruptcy and wants to investigate the team's complex ownership.

A lawyer for Bryan Stow, who remains in critical condition, said he expected the committee role to allow "good access" to find out why "24 corporations own the Dodgers."

Thomas Girardi, of the Los Angeles-based law firm Girardi Keese, added that he hoped "to get to the bottom of all this."

The team did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Other committee members include the Major League Players Association, KABC-AM Radio 790 and two suppliers of the team, according to two sources who attended the meeting to appoint the committee.

A bankrupt company must provide the committee with money to hire lawyers and financial advisers, and the committees often conduct investigations and review company plans.

Bankruptcy judges generally want the support of an official committee before allowing a company to exit bankruptcy.

The Stow family sued the Dodgers and team owner Frank McCourt on May 24 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming that lax security at the stadium contributed to an atmosphere of intimidation and thuggery that led to the attack.

Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, drove more than 300 miles from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles to watch his beloved Giants play the Dodgers on opening day on March 31. After the game he was attacked and beaten in the parking lot by two men.

The 42-year-old paramedic and father of two was apparently assaulted because he wore Giants garb.

The Stow family said in court papers that security cutbacks at the stadium were prompted by McCourt's "financial mismanagement and family woes."

McCourt, already fighting with his ex-wife over ownership of the team, filed for bankruptcy last month in a dramatic move widely seen as aimed at preventing Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig from seizing control of the club.

McCourt said he was forced to seek Chapter 11 protection after Selig rejected a major television deal that would have provided the team with an urgent cash infusion needed to meet its next payroll.

The bankruptcy case is In re: Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 11-12010. (Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)