A PAINTER and decorator who suffered horrendous brain damage has been awarded £38MILLION by a jury after he had his skull smashed in by a bouncer.Antonio Lopez Chaj, 43, who was so badly beaten nearly a third of his head had to be removed.
Chaj had to be supported by relatives at the news conference on Monday when lawyers announced the award against a security company in Torrance Superior Court.
It is among the largest award in damages ever given to one person in California.
When Chaj took off the baseball cap he wore to hide the extent of his injuries, gasps were heard from inside the court.
Attorney Federico Sayre said: "His skull is like a pie with 25 per cent cut out of it."
Lawyers said an unlicensed, untrained bouncer beat Chaj with a baton.
They also say he kicked him in the head eight times and smashed his skull against pavement.
Mr Chaj was attacked at a bar in Wilshire, Los Angles after trying to stop a fight between bar staff on two of his relatives
Sayre said: "It was truly a horrendous and brutal beating by a guy who shouldn't have been working at all."
The security guard, Emerson Quintanilla, and the bartender-manager who sparked the attack have disappeared.
Sayre said the confrontation begin April 20, 2010.
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 the guard beat him unconscious.
Sayre said: "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."
He said Chaj faces more surgeries.
The jury was unanimous in finding for the plaintiffs on all claims, and granted the £38million ($58million) award.