A man who sued the Los Angeles Dodgers, alleging he was attacked by security guards while on his way to a Dodger Stadium restroom during a game in 2018, can seek punitive damages against the team, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Christopher Lui denied a motion by the National League franchise to strike plaintiff Daniel Antunez’s punitive damages claim from his complaint.
According to his suit filed April 16, Antunez went with friends to Dodger Stadium on April 24, 2018, to celebrate his birthday and see a game in which the home team lost to the Miami Marlins, 3-2.
Members of the security team became involved after a woman with Antunez accidentally spilled beer on another fan, according to the suit. While talking with the security staff, Antunez excused himself to use the restroom about 15 feet away and was attacked by some of the guards for no reason, his lawsuit alleges.
Antunez injured an ankle and had to leave the game in a wheelchair, according to his court papers.
“Here, the complaint alleges that defendants violently grabbed (Antunez), who had to urgently use the restroom and was trying to get to the nearest one,” the judge wrote in his ruling. “The complaint alleges that, without provocation, multiple individuals grabbed and knocked plaintiff to the floor … and more individuals jumped on (him) and battered and fractured (his) ankle.”
Lui said in court that the complaint stated sufficient facts to support the allegation that the guards acted with “malice or oppression.”
The judge said that on Oct. 2, he will set a date for a trial.
Antunez’s lawyer, Peter diDonato, told the judge that he recently obtained the names of the guards allegedly involved and that their names will be substituted for some of the original “Doe” defendants in the case.
The attorney said outside the courtroom that some of the guards may have been off-duty police officers who allegedly felt they could be more aggressive because they were not wearing a uniform and a badge.
He said Antunez recently had the pins removed from his ankle.
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