This week brought some mixed news for the family of Giant's fan Bryan Stow.
Kids Tabitha and Tyler may not sue the Dodgers at this time, according to Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan. However, Stow may seek punitive damages against the club, which could place a jury award well into the hundreds of millions.
This result leads to two interesting questions: Why can Bryan Stow sue while he's incapacitated? And why can't his kids?
Bryan Stow isn't actually suing the Dodgers. His parents are suing the Dodgers on his behalf. When he became incapacitated, his parents were named his conservators. This designation includes the authority to make medical and legal decisions.
One of those legal decisions is the filing of lawsuits. Stow's parents likely chose to file suit because it is easier to secure evidence closer to the events. That, and medical bills are piling up.
As for Bryan Stow's kids, they can't sue because the judge found that they don't have a case under California law.
The children sued for the negligent infliction of emotional distress. A physically uninjured plaintiff may only sue on these grounds if he witnessed another's injury as it occurred.
Tabitha and Tyler were not at Dodger Stadium and did not witness the assault. Thus, the judge ruled that they cannot recover for the distress they suffered as a result of his injuries, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Even though they learned that can't sue, Bryan Stow's kids still received some happy news these last few weeks. Stow has reportedly started talking--a great sign of improvement.