The Dodgers are asking a judge to order the wife of a fan who was hospitalized with a serious brain injury after allegedly being attacked in a stadium parking lot after a game to turn over evidence supporting her own claim for emotional distress.
Rafael Reyna’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges negligence, premises liability, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He maintains lighting was poor and security was lacking at the 2019 game.
Reyna’s spouse and fellow plaintiff, Christel Reyna, has a separate bystander claim for emotional distress.
“At the time of (Rafael Reyna’s) vicious beating, (Rafael Reyna) was on the phone with his wife, (Christel Reyna) heard her husband being assaulted and his head hitting the ground,” the couple’s suit states. “She continued hearing her husband’s labored breathing and groans. She stayed on the phone until people assisted her husband.”
Hearing the alleged assault on her husband caused Christel Reyna “great shock, horror and emotional distress,” the couple’s suit states.
In court papers filed Wednesday and Friday, lawyers for the Dodgers say they want Christel Reyna to be directed to produce a recording of what she heard over her phone during the alleged beating. They also want, among other things, medical records and documentation of her claims for lost earnings as a result of the incident.
“Without additional records and information from Mrs. Reyna, the Dodgers have no knowledge of what additional subpoenas, depositions or other discovery needs to be conducted in order to fully prepare this matter for trial,” the Dodger attorneys state in their court papers.
A hearing on the Dodgers’ motion is scheduled for Dec. 9 before Judge Michael Whitaker.
The Reynas’ attorneys believe the crime rate at Dodger Stadium exceeds that of any other ballpark in Major League Baseball, according to their court papers.
Security was reduced in 2004 for financial reasons, possibly due to the financial troubles of former owner Frank McCourt, and in 2008, the Dodgers began relying solely on security guards uniformed in polo shirts, without any uniformed Los Angeles police officers, the suit alleges.
Reyna was attacked after watching the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 29, 2019, the suit states. The game lasted 13 innings and ended shortly before midnight, according to the complaint.
After the game, Reyna went to one of the parking lots to reach his car and called his wife to let her know he would soon be departing Dodger Stadium, but he was overtaken by about five people and violently beaten, causing him to collapse onto the parking lot asphalt and strike his head, the suit states.
The attack was in an area that was “notoriously poorly lit,” the suit alleges.