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TORRANCE : Injured Mobil Striker Settles Suit for $350,000

January 13, 1994

A Gardena-based security company has agreed to pay $350,000 to a Mobil Oil worker who was critically injured in March, 1988, when a guard drove a pickup truck into a line of striking employees at the Torrance refinery.

Excel Security Services and Juan Canizales reached an out-of-court settlement Friday just before a trial was to begin in Torrance Superior Court.

Canizales, who lives in Lynwood with his wife and three children, suffered head injuries when he was thrown onto the truck near the entrance to the Mobil refinery. He was in a coma for three days and hospitalized for nearly two months.

Security guard Onna Brown, who was 20 at the time, was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon--his truck--and sentenced to nine months in Los Angeles County Jail. He served 60 days.

Excel was hired by Mobil to provide extra security during a strike by Local 1-547 of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union.

Brown reportedly was not working when he drove to the refinery and spoke briefly with another guard. He then sped into the picket line, grazing one striker and hitting Canizales.

Witnesses said Brown had been taunted by some of the workers, but Canizales did not participate.

Canizales has kept his job as an equipment operator in the plant's fire and safety departments, a Mobil spokesman said.

An attorney for Excel could not be reached for comment.

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