So. Calif. painter awarded $58M in bar beating - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

So. Calif. painter awarded $58M in bar beating

Posted: Updated:
Fernado Chavez, attorney and oldest son of late labor leader Cesar Chavez, right, comments on a jury verdict handed down in favor of his client, Antonio Lopez Chaj (cq), left, a 43-year-old house painter, at a news conference. Fernado Chavez, attorney and oldest son of late labor leader Cesar Chavez, right, comments on a jury verdict handed down in favor of his client, Antonio Lopez Chaj (cq), left, a 43-year-old house painter, at a news conference.
Antonio Lopez Chaj, a 43-year-old house painter, middle, is assisted to walk down the stairs by his nephew, Eric Chaj, left, and his brother, Pedro Chaj, right, to appear at a news conference in Los Angeles Monday, July 1, 2013. Antonio Lopez Chaj, a 43-year-old house painter, middle, is assisted to walk down the stairs by his nephew, Eric Chaj, left, and his brother, Pedro Chaj, right, to appear at a news conference in Los Angeles Monday, July 1, 2013.
Antonio Lopez Chaj, a 43-year-old house painter, appears with his attorneys at a news conference in Los Angeles Monday, July 1, 2013. Antonio Lopez Chaj, a 43-year-old house painter, appears with his attorneys at a news conference in Los Angeles Monday, July 1, 2013.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 43-year-old house painter so badly brain damaged that he can't speak has been awarded $58 million by a jury after a beating at a bar left him with half his skull permanently bashed in.

Antonio Lopez Chaj (chy) 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.

"His skull is like a pie with 25 percent cut out of it," said attorney Federico Sayre.

Chaj was attacked at a mid-Wilshire bar after trying to intercede in an attack by 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 Sayre, who represented Chaj along with Fernando Chavez, the son of famed civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

The security guard, Emerson Quintanilla, and the bartender-manager who sparked the attack have disappeared without a trace, Sayre said.

"I think the man went crazy, lost his mind," he said of Quintanilla. "It was a species of road rage."

Sayre said the confrontation begin 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 the relatives got into a dispute with the bartender-manager who came after him with brass knuckles, Sayre said. 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, Sayre said, the guard beat Chaj into unconsciousness. Part of his skull was gone when he reached the hospital.

"They saved his life but he has significant brain damage," Sayre said. "He can't speak and he requires 24-hour nursing care."

He said Chaj faces more surgeries.

Phone messages seeking comment left with attorneys for the defendants were not immediately returned.

In civil courts, only nine of the 12 jurors have to agree on a verdict, Sayre said. But this jury was unanimous in finding for the plaintiffs on all claims, and it granted the $58 million award the plaintiffs requested.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Impractical Jokester Sal Vulcano bringing funny to San Diego all weekend

    Impractical Jokester Sal Vulcano bringing funny to San Diego all weekend

    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:07 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:07:17 GMT

    Whether you love the one liners or you watch for the awkward situations, of which there are plenty, TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers” has guaranteed laughs every Thursday. Sal Vulcano, and show’s three other featured comedians, have brought their comedic talents to San Diego.

     

    Whether you love the one liners or you watch for the awkward situations, of which there are plenty, TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers” has guaranteed laughs every Thursday. Sal Vulcano, and show’s three other featured comedians, have brought their comedic talents to San Diego.

     
  • Men at Work's Colin Hay performs new song on set

    Men at Work's Colin Hay performs new song on set

    Thursday, July 20 2017 5:53 PM EDT2017-07-20 21:53:19 GMT

    The man who sang "Land Down Under" first in 1981, Men At Work’s Colin Hay joined News 8 Morning Extra on Thursday to talk about his journey as a solo act, which has brought him to the Belly Up in Solana Beach this weekend.

     

    The man who sang "Land Down Under" first in 1981, Men At Work’s Colin Hay joined News 8 Morning Extra on Thursday to talk about his journey as a solo act, which has brought him to the Belly Up in Solana Beach this weekend.

     
  • Detwiler Fire: More local firefighters stepping up to front lines

    Detwiler Fire: More local firefighters stepping up to front lines

    Thursday, July 20 2017 5:18 PM EDT2017-07-20 21:18:17 GMT

    Some San Diego-area firefighters were in Mariposa County Thursday helping to battle a wildfire that has burned more than 70,000 acres and destroyed 29 structures over the last few days.    

     

    Some San Diego-area firefighters were in Mariposa County Thursday helping to battle a wildfire that has burned more than 70,000 acres and destroyed 29 structures over the last few days.    

     
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.