A jury has gone and awarded, 43 year old house painter, Antonio Lopez Chaj $58 million after he was so badly beaten by a bouncer he had half his skull smashed in.
The award to date is one of the largest ever given to one person in the state of California.
Chaj 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.
Lawyers said an unlicensed, untrained security guard beat Chaj with a baton, kicked him in the head eight times and smashed his skull against pavement four times.
‘It was truly a horrendous and brutal beating by a guy who shouldn’t have been working at all,’ said Antonio Lopez Chaj’s attorney Federico Sayre.
The court went on to hear how the security guard, Emerson Quintanilla, and the bartender-manager who sparked the attack have disappeared without a trace.
‘I think the man went crazy, lost his mind,’ told Sayre of Quintanilla. ‘It was a species of road rage.’
The confrontation said to have occurred on April 20, 2010 came about when Chaj, his brother and two nephews, who all worked as house painters, went to Barra Latina, a neighborhood bar.
One of the relatives got into a dispute with the bartender-manager who came after him with brass knuckles.
Quintanilla, who was working for DGSP Security and Patrol Services, began kicking and beating members of the group.
Chaj tried to intervene and said, ‘Stop beating my nephews.’
At that point Chaj was beaten into unconsciousness.
Affirmed Sayre: ‘Part of his skull was gone when he reached the hospital. They saved his life but he has significant brain damage. He can’t speak and he requires 24-hour nursing care.’
Sayre has gone on to tell that Chaj faces yet more surgeries.
The bar manager and security guard who beat Chaj and his relatives have both disappeared since the attack.
Chaj’s attorney, Federico Sayr, says he expects an appeal and settlement negotiations before DGSP Security and Patrol Services pays his client what he’s owed.
Phone messages seeking comment left with attorneys for the defendants were not immediately returned. Can anyone guess why?