A St. Louis jury has ordered a fast food restaurant to pay $20.5 million for not preventing a beating in its parking lot that left a man unconscious, disabled and with lasting brain damage. He was in a coma for more than a year, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Four people have gone to prison for the beating. The victim, Ali Aziz, also believed the Jack in the Box chain was to blame, and sued the franchise for negligence.
Aziz, 35, who still cannot walk or feed himself, was awarded the money after a eight-day civil trial. The lawsuit claimed Jack in the Box failed to prevent a fight that broke out on June 20, 2010, trained its employees poorly and violated its own policies for dealing with disruptive customers. Jack in the Box responded that, “This tragic event could have been avoided had the plaintiff not provoked an altercation, and the evidence supporting that fact was overwhelming. We're shocked and disappointed by the verdict and do not believe it was even remotely supported by the evidence.”