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The Dodgers Seek IPhone Heartbeat Data From Wife Of Stadium Beating Victim

10:36 AM PDT on April 13, 2023

photo: Dez Hester/Unsplash

The Dodgers have requested that a Los Angeles judge order the wife of Rafael Reyna, a fan who was hospitalized with a serious brain injury after allegedly being attacked in the stadium's parking lot after a 2019 game, to turn over iPhone evidence that supports her claim for emotional distress. Her attorneys say the request involves privacy issues, however.

Reyna's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges negligence, premises liability, assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, maintaining that the lighting was poor and security was lacking at the game.

Christel Reyna, his wife and fellow plaintiff, has a separate bystander claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. The Dodger attorneys want access to her iPhone health data related to her heart rate.

"This information is directly relevant to defending against Mrs. Reyna's claim for emotional distress in this action,'' lawyers for the Dodgers argue in their court papers.

Christel Reyna has put her health at issue, particularly her heart rate, by stating that she continues to suffer anxiety attacks and a racing heart for which she is seeking damages for her past and future medical care, according to the Dodger attorneys' court papers.

"Information related to Mrs. Reyna's heart rate must be produced, as it goes to directly to the validity of her claims in this matter,'' the team's attorneys maintain in their court papers.

But according to the plaintiffs' attorneys, the iPhone data request is "overly broad, harassing, and invades'' Christel Reyna's privacy rights under the state constitution.

The iPhone health data extracts personal information on its owner, such as sleep, steps, and workouts, depending on what the device's owner wants, the plaintiffs' attorneys state in their court papers.

"Moreover, defendants are in possession of Mrs. Reyna's psychiatric mental health records,'' the plaintiffs' lawyers further state in their court papers.

A hearing on the Dodgers' motion is scheduled for Tuesday 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 filed in April 2020 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.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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