Man who suffered brain injury outside of Pete's Bar settles for 'little less' than $11 million

A man who was severely hurt during a bar brawl in Neptune Beach back in 2012 has been awarded a multimillion-dollar settlement

Josh Mathews and his attorney Michael Pajcic met with Action News Jax Wednesday in their offices downtown.

After five years of litigation against Pete’s Bar’s insurance company they finally were able to come to a settlement.

“Now we’ve held them accountable. With the money Josh is going to have financial security for the rest of his life,” said Pajcic.

Houston Specialty Insurance has agreed to pay a little less than $11.2 million.

Back in 2016, a jury sided with Mathews and he was to be awarded $18.7 million.

However, Mathews was considered 40 percent at fault, despite not being involved in the fight, due to his blood alcohol level being over the legal limit.

Therefore, the judge reduced the verdict for a final judgement of $11,244,000.

Both sides were then able to agree on a little less than that.

“He will never feel like he’s a burden on anybody ever again,” said Pajcic.

The brawl that ensued just outside of Pete’s Bar in 2012 put Mathews in a coma.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury which has led to years of speech and physical therapy.

He’s now only able to communicate by saying either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or with his hands.

“Up until now he’s been going to a weekly session speech therapy at Vanderbilt,” said Pajcic until Mathews put up two fingers. “Well now recently twice a week,” said Pajcic.

Mathews now lives in Tennessee with his wife where they’re closer to other relatives.

While he can’t communicate like he used to, at one point he smiled during the interview knowing that thanks to the settlement his quality of life will improve.

“Now he’ll be able to have his independence, get out of the house more. He’ll be able to seek the best therapy there is all across the nation,” said Pajcic.

Pajcic said Pete’s Bar will remain open but Pajcic hopes this sends a message to other area bars about protecting their patrons.

Action News Jax reached out Pete’s Bar but we were told “no comment.”