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Fight Victim Awarded $19 Million against Bar with Lax Security

A Florida jury returned a $19 million verdict for a man who suffered brain damage when his head hit the ground during a fight at Pete's Bar in Neptune Beach, FL in 2012. The bar failed to provide security cameras outside or security guards anywhere on the property.

Plaintiff Joshua Matthews tried to break up a fight outside the bar and was punched in the head, causing the injury that resulted in vision loss and paralysis on the right side of his body. The blow left Mathews in a coma for two months and he now uses a cane or walker when moving.

He was represented by Attorney Michael Pajcic of Pajcic and Pajcic of Jacksonville, FL. "What this shows is a bar's duty can extend outside its premises," Pajcic told WTLV. "Even as patrons are exiting, they have a duty to keep the area around their bar safe."

The court said Jensens Liquor Store Inc., the owner of Pete's Bar, was 60 percent liable, and that Mathews, who was drunk and contributorily negligent, was 40 percent at fault, which will cause the verdict to be reduced.

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