43-year-old house painter Antonio Lopez Chaj was beaten so badly at a mid-Wilshire bar after attempting to intervene in an attack by a bartender and security guard on two relatives who were with him, his skull was bashed in to the point where it appears 50 percent of his skull is gone.
Three years later, as a result of the severe brain damage, Chaj can no longer speak and needs 24 hour care. He was recently awarded $58 million by a California jury. The Associated Press reports:
Antonio Lopez Chaj appeared at a news conference Monday with lawyers who announced the award handed down against a security company Friday in Torrance Superior Court.
It was among the largest damage awards ever given to one person in California, the lawyers said. They said they expect an appeal and there could be settlement negotiations before Chaj receives anything.
Chaj had to be supported by relatives at the news conference. When he took off a baseball cap hiding his injuries, gasps could be heard from people present.
According to the AP the both the security guard and the bartender Emerson Quintanilla, and the bartender-manager who sparked the attack fled the scene and are nowhere to be found.