Experienced Hawaii Injury Lawyers
Our Hawaii Personal Injury Law Firm has successfully litigated and settled thousands of cases for the people of Hawaii.
Landmark Supreme Court Cases
Kienker v. Bauer, 110 Hawaii 97, 129 P.3d 1125 (2006). This case pertained to the interpretation and application of a general versus specific State statute regarding the extent of the government's liability for damages arising from highway design defects. In this case, Bauer was operating her car on Queen Kaahumanu Highway on the Big Island when she crossed over our client's lane, hitting our client's car in a head-on collision. Our office brought an action against Bauer and the State, alleging that the highway was defectively designed by the State. After a two-week trial, the Circuit court found the State jointly and severally liable for damages under HRS 663:10.9(4). The State appealed, arguing that HRS 663:10.5, which abolished joint and several liability against government entities in "any case", superseded 663:10.9(4) and precluded the State from being jointly and severally liable for damages. We argued that HRS 663:10.5 did not apply since the HRS 663:10.9(4) was not specifically superseded by 663:10.5. On March 14, 2006, the Hawaii Supreme court issued a written opinion in our favor, holding that the State was jointly and severally liable for the entire $1.2 million judgment. After the decision was issued, the legislature immediately submitted bill HB 237, which codified the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision in the Kienker case.
Touchette v. Ganal, 82 Hawaii 293, 922 P.2d 347 (1996). The issue in this case was whether there was a duty to protect against criminal acts of third persons in the absence of a special marital relationship. The Circuit Court had granted the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, claiming there was no duty absent a special relationship. In our appeal to the Hawaii Supreme Court, we argued that a duty exists where a person did an affirmative act which created an unreasonable risk. The Supreme Court agreed and reversed the dismissal. This landmark decision broadened the duty to include criminal acts of third persons even in the absence of a special relationship.
Lealaimatafao v. Woodward-Clyde Consultants, 75 Hawaii 545, 867 P.2d 220 (1984). This case involved the issue whether a nonmarried woman and her son could file a claim for loss of consortium for the death of her live-in male companion. The deceased man lived with this woman and her son and held them out as his family. He had been separated from his wife for several years, but never divorced. The lower court dismissed the loss of consortium claim since they were not legally married. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the lower court's dismissal and agreed with our position that any person wholly or partly dependent upon the deceased may recover for loss of consortium, even though they were not legally married.
Notable Judgments & Settlements*
Confidential settlement against local hospital for wrongful death caused by medical malpractice.
$29.5 million judgment for wrongful death claim.
$6.2 million judgment for sexual assault claim
$2.8 million award for medical malpractice claim
$1.2 million award for head-on collision
$625,000 for prison medical negligence
$590,000 settlement for motor vehicle accident
$400,000 for dog attack victim
$400,000 award for slip and fall accident
$300,000 for rear-end collision
$275,000 for multi-vehicle accident
*Judgments and Settlements vary case by case.