LOS ANGELES: A painter and decorator who lost half his skull after being beaten unconscious in a Los Angeles pub brawl has been awarded $58million (£38.2million) in compensation.

Antonio Lopez Chaj suffered severe brain damage in the attack and can no longer speak, a court heard.

The 43-year-old was beaten up by an unlicensed bouncer as he tried to stop a fight between his drinking pals and a bartender. The security guard beat Mr Chaj with a baton, kicked him in the head eight times and smashed his skull against the pavement four times.

His successful damages claim – awarded by a Torrance superior court jury last week – is one of the biggest ever payouts awarded in California, his lawyers said yesterday. Mr Chaj had to be physically supported by relatives at a news conference where details of the compensation award were revealed. As he took off a baseball cap that was hiding his injuries, gasps were heard from the journalists present.–mt