LOS ANGELES – A member of a family of Dodgers fans who sued the team, alleging he and his relatives were beaten by security guards because they are Latinos, has died of unrelated causes, according to court papers filed by the plaintiffs’ attorney.
David Vincent Verdin, 27, died May 4 of a gunshot wound to his right thigh, according to his death certificate, which was attached to his lawyer’s court papers filed July 6 with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Crowfoot.
The case has since been transferred to Judge Robert Draper, who has set a status conference for the Verdin case and other similar cases against the Dodgers on Thursday.
Verdin’s father, Rigoberto Verdin, was 48 years old when he and his relatives brought the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court in June 2020, alleging negligence, assault, battery, false imprisonment and civil rights violations.
Another Verdin son, Rigoberto Verdin Jr., alleges one guard held a knee on his neck while he was on the ground, making it hard for him to breathe.
All of the Verdins are “passionate and supportive fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team,” according to the complaint.
In their court papers, team attorneys state that the Verdins’ injuries occurred due to the “reckless, negligent or improper conduct” of the family members themselves.
The confrontation occurred Oct. 9, 2019, after the Dodgers’ season- ending 7-3, 10-inning loss to the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of a National League Division Series, the plaintiffs say.
The family was leaving the stadium and near an exit when they were “accosted” and “battered” by security guards who called them “gang bangers, thugs and homies,” the plaintiffs say.
None of the Verdins are gang members and they were subjected to racial profiling even though more than half of fans who attend Dodgers home games are Latinos, according to the plaintiffs.
Verdin Jr., 26, was trying to help his then-24-year-old brother, David, who had been put in a choke hold when the guards tackled Verdin Jr. and took him to the ground, where one placed a knee on his neck, according to the plaintiffs.
“I can’t breathe,” Verdin Jr. shouted as he was subsequently struck on the body and head, the plaintiffs allege.
Rigoberto Sr. suffered injuries to one hand and arm after being tackled to the ground and his daughter, 18-year-old Jamie, received a broken nose, according to the plaintiffs.
Verdin Jr. and David Verdin were arrested, but not charged, according to the family’s court papers.
The Dodgers have refused to explain the guards’ alleged conduct and ignored the plaintiffs’ requests for witness statements and other information, the plaintiffs say.