A brutal attack has resulted in one of the largest damage award settlements ever given to one person in California.
A house painter, 43-year-old Antonio Lopez Chaj, suffered brain damage after a bouncer smashed in his head. The assault was so bad that Chaj had to have a quarter of his skull removed. Chaj’s head is now permanently caved in, he is unable to speak, and required 24-hour nursing care.
The man was awarded $58 million after he suffered injuries at the hands of a bouncer while trying to intervene on a bar fight.
The New York Daily News reports, an unlicensed, untrained security guard used excessive force and beat Chaj with a baton, kicked him in the head eight times, and smashed his skull against the pavement at least four times.
The victim was attacked at a mid-Wilshire bar after trying to stop a fight between a bartender and security guard on two relatives who were with him.
The confrontation occurred on April 20, 2010 when Chaj, his brother and two nephews, who all worked as house painters, went to Barra Latina, a neighborhood bar.
One of his relatives got into a dispute with the bartender-manager who came after him with brass knuckles. Emerson Quintanilla, who was working for DGSP Security and Patrol Services, began kicking and beating members of the group. Chaj interceded. It was then that Quintanilla allegedly excessively beat Chaj into unconsciousness.
Attorney Federico Sayre, representing Chaj, said, “I think the man [Quintanilla] went crazy, lost his mind. It was a species of road rage.”
Chaj and his family subsequently sued the security company in Torrance Superior Court.
The security guard and bartender-manager who sparked the attack have since disappeared without a trace, according to the Huffington Post.
Lawyers said they expect an appeal and there could be settlement negotiations before Chaj receives anything.
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