Oral Argument Before the Intermediate Court of Appeals

No. 29491 Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 9 a.m.

 CIVIL NO. 05-1-0947

LON WILLIAMS, Individually and as Personal Representative of the ESTATE OF ALACIA WILLIAMS, Deceased, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MARC HENDERSON, and STATE OF HAWAI`I, Defendants-Appellees, and LORRIE ANN MONIZ; CITY & COUNTY OF HONOLULU, and DOE DEFENDANTS 1-100, Defendants and STATE OF HAWAI`I, Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff-Appellee, v. KARIN R. WILLIAMS, CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU and GIRL SCOUT COUNCIL OF HAWAI`I, Third-Party Defendants-Appellees.

CIVIL NO. 05-1-0846

ALAN GOTO, individually and as Personal Representative of the ESTATE OF RYAN GOTO, deceased; DAVID BEGA and PAUL JAVIER, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. MARC HENDERSON; KARIN R. WILLIAMS; GIRL SCOUT COUNCIL OF HAWAIʻI; STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Defendants-Appellees and LORRIE ANN MONIZ, JOHN DOES 1-10; JANE DOES 1-10; DOE CORPORATIONS 1-10; DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-10; DOE GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES 1-10; and DOE UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATIONS 1-10, Defendants and STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Third-Party Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, Third-Party Defendant-Appellee.

Civil No. 05-1-1045

KARIN WILLIAMS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MARC HENDERSON; STATE OF HAWAI`I, Defendant-Appellee, and LORRIE ANN MONIZ; and DOE DEFENDANTS 1-100, Defendants and STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Third-Party Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, Third-Party Defendant-Appellee.

Civil No. 05-1-0883

GEORGIE-ANN GOTO, individually and as Guardian of the Property of BOWEN GOTO, a minor, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MARC HENDERSON; KARIN R. WILLIAMS; GIRL SCOUT COUNCIL OF HAWAI`I; STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Defendants-Appellees and STATE OF HAWAI`I, Cross-Plaintiff, v. CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, Cross-Defendant.

Attorney(s) for Plaintiff-Appellant in Civil No. 05-1-0947: James T. Leavitt, Jr. (Leavitt Yamane & Soldner)

Attorney(s) for Plaintiff-Appellant in Civil No. 05-1-0846: James J. Bickerton, Charles H.Y. Dang, and Scott K. Saiki (Bickerton Saunders Dang)

Attorney(s) for Plaintiff-Appellant in Civil No. 05-1-1045: Charles J. Ferrera

Attorney(s) for Plaintiff-Appellant in Civil No. 05-1-0883: Richard Turbin, Rai Saint Chu, and David W. Barlow

Attorney(s) for Defendant-Appellee, Marc Henderson: Terrance Revere and Jacqueline E. Thurston (Motooka Yamamoto & Revere)

Attorney(s) for Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff-Appellee, State of Hawai`i: David M. Louie, Attorney General and Robin M. Kishi, Melinda D. Sanchez, and Cindy S. Inouye, Deputy Attorneys General

COURT: Nakamura, CJ; Fujise and Leonard, JJ.

SPECIAL NOTE: The above argument will take place in the Supreme Court courtroom on the Second Floor of Ali`iolani Hale, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawai`i.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

Plaintiffs-Appellants Georgie-Ann Goto, individually and as Guardian of the Property of Bowen Goto, a minor, Alan Goto, individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Ryan Goto, Deceased, David Bega, Paul Javier, Lon Williams, individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Alacia Williams, Deceased, and Karin Williams (collectively, Plaintiffs) appeal from the Circuit Court of the First Circuit's (Circuit Court's) Final Judgment, filed on November 20, 2008. After the completion of a consolidated non-jury trial on liability in Civil Nos. 05-1-0846-05, 05-1-0883-05, 05-1-0947-05, and 05-1-1045-05, the Final Judgment was entered in favor of the State of Hawaiʻi (State) against all Plaintiffs, with the Circuit Court dismissing all other claims, counterclaims, cross-claims, and third-party claims. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (FOF/COL) were entered by the Circuit Court on January 17, 2008.

On appeal, Plaintiffs raise four points of error:

(1) the Circuit Court clearly erred in FOFs 64 through 67, when it found that a properly installed median barrier would have stopped short of the accident location and thus would not have prevented the accident, and therefore erred in concluding, in COL C, that "the State's negligent failure to have installed a median barrier in the vicinity of the accident prior to the subject accident was not a substantial factor in causing the subject accident. Plaintiffs failed to prove legal causation by a preponderance of the evidence."

(2) the Circuit Court clearly erred in FOFs 61, 63, and 64, when it failed to adopt the proper engineering standard, and used an inapposite standard, thereby leading to the court's erroneous conclusion that Plaintiffs failed to prove legal causation by a preponderance of the evidence.

(3) the Circuit Court clearly erred in FOF 66, when it found that the stopping sight distance for 45 mph design speed is 375 feet and is the likely distance that a median barrier would have extended east of the left-turn pocket based upon reasonable and prudent engineering standards.

(4) the Circuit Court abused its discretion in denying Plaintiffs' motions for reconsideration.

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