How an Insurer Is Taking Money From the Fan Beaten at Dodger Stadium
First he was assaulted for wearing the wrong team’s clothes. Then he was sucker-punched by the insurance system.
Dave Stow, 71, strains to push the wheelchair carrying his 250-pound son, Bryan, up a series of ramps and into the basement of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Capitola, Calif., for its Friday fish fry. Bryan Stow is greeted by ladies who kiss him, men who hug him, and a 103-year-old woman who grabs his hand and asks if he is walking yet.
Four years ago, Bryan Stow was a strapping paramedic who spent his days off biking with his son and daughter. That was before March 31, 2011, when he and three friends made the mistake of wearing San Francisco Giants garb to an Opening Day game against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. They were harassed and threatened in the stands. Afterwards, two Dodgers fans beat Stow so savagely in a parking lot that doctors had to induce a coma to save him. He was hospitalized for seven months.
The damage to Stow, 46, remains unmistakable. A scar runs from the left side of his forehead to the back of his head. On the right side, a shunt used to drain fluid from his brain protrudes from his skull. The thick black hair he once fussed over is now patchy and thin. Special stockings on his legs prevent life-threatening blood clots.
The beating of Stow drew national attention to sports hooliganism. It’s also brought to light a virtually unknown aspect of the legal system that cuts compensation to victims. In effect, Stow was sucker-punched twice: first by his assailant and then by his health insurer.
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