A Bakersfield man who was severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium two years ago is suing the baseball team and his alleged attackers, who are from Palos Verdes Estates.
Ariel Auffant, a geologist who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was violently punched and kicked after a Dodgers-Mets playoff game on Oct. 9, 2015, alleges the Dodgers failed to provide adequate security and lighting that would have prevented the assault in a stadium parking lot.
The 10-page lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Auffant and his wife, Abigale, seeks unspecified damages from the baseball team on claims of negligence, premises liability, negligent hiring, retention and supervision, and loss of consortium.
It also seeks damages for assault, battery and emotional distress from Michael Papayans and his mother, Jennifer.
As a result of the attack, Abigale lost the love, companionship and protection of her husband, the suit states.
Parking lot attack
According to the lawsuit, the mother and son verbally taunted Auffant and a group of fans as they were walking to their car after the Mets defeated the Dodgers 3-1 because Auffant’s cousin was wearing a New York Mets hat.
Papayans, 29, was accused of striking Auffant in the head and knocking him to the ground, then Jennifer Papayans allegedly joined in kicking him.
Papayans was arrested four months later and pleaded no contest in February to one count of assault causing great bodily injury. He was sentenced to 80 days of community service, 14 days in jail and ordered to enroll in an anger management class and pay $100,000 in restitution.
Jennifer Papayans also was arrested, but the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office did not file charges against her, forwarding the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor consideration.
Papayans also is a defendant in two lawsuits against the Lunada Bay Boys, an alleged surfer gang accused of harassing outsiders at a surf spot in Palos Verdes Estates. The litigation aims to have him and other surfers banned from Lunada Bay with a gang injunction.
Papayans also was arrested in January 2016 along with Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter during a bar fight in Florida.
A man who answered a phone call to the Papayans residence on Tuesday hung up on a reporter.
The Auffants’ attorney, Ryan Bright, could not be reached, and Dodgers spokesman Joe Jareck said the team does not comment on pending litigation.
In 2014, a jury found the Dodgers partially responsible in a negligence lawsuit brought by Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan who suffered brain damage in a high-profile beating at the stadium. Stow was awarded an $18 million judgment.
The Auffants’ lawsuit alleges the Dodgers “failed to install proper lighting in its parking lots, which created a dangerous condition and allowed criminal activity to go unnoticed and undetected.”
“Despite the fact that thousands of people attended the game on October 9, 2015, and thousands of people were filing out of Dodger Stadium after the game, no security was present outside of the stadium, and no security was present or intervened during the verbal and ultimately physical attack,” the lawsuit claims. “Moreover, it took several minutes for the Dodgers security personnel to respond to the scene where Ariel D. Auffant was attacked and injured even though it was in very close proximity to the gates of the stadium.”
When Papayans was charged in the beating, his grandmother, Sheila Papayans, told the Daily Breeze her grandson was only protecting his mother and that the allegations were “all a big lie.”
“The other people attacked,” Sheila Papayans said. “They started by attacking my daughter and pushed her down because they didn’t like what she was saying.”
“One man pushed her down. My grandson was protecting her, and then all four of them attacked him. It was four men hitting one man. He was simply protecting his mother.”
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