A 43-year-old Los Angeles house painter has been awarded $58 million (£38m) by a jury after a beating at a bar left him with half his skull permanently caved in, and so badly brain damaged that he can’t speak.
The award, made against a security company, was among the largest damage payments ever given to one person in California, lawyers said.
When Antonio Lopez Chaj took off his cap at a news conference announcing the award, revealing his injuries, gasps were heard from those present.
“His skull is like a pie with 25 per cent cut out of it,” said lawyer Federico Sayre.
Mr Chaj was injured at a bar in 2010 after trying to intercede in an attack by a bartender and security guard on two of Mr Chaj’s relatives who were with him.
Lawyers said an unlicensed, untrained security guard beat Mr Chaj with a baton, kicked him in the head and smashed his skull against pavement.