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Oral Arugments before the Intermediate Court of Appeals

No. 29851 Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 10:00 a.m.

FRANCISCO ABADILLA, JR., Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. SANFORD IWATA; JOHN DOES 1-10; JANE DOES 1-10; DOE CORPORATIONS 1-10; DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-10; DOE ASSOCIATIONS 1-10; DOE JOINT VENTURES 1-10; DOE TRUSTS 1-10 and DOE GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES 1-10, inclusive, Defendants-Appellees.

Attorney(s) for Plaintiff-Appellant
Steven K. Hisaka and Janice T. Futa (Hisaka Yoshida & Cosgrove)Dwayne S. Lerma and Jo Anne E. Goya (Lerma & Goya)

Attorney(s) for Defendant-Appellee Sanford Iwata
Gregory Markham and Keith K. Kato (Chee Markham & Feldman)

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

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

[The audio recording for this oral argument is unavailable due to a technical issue which arose with the recording equipment. ]

Brief Description:

Plaintiff-Appellant Francisco Abadilla, Jr. (Abadilla) appeals from the final judgment entered by the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit (Circuit Court) in favor of Defendant-Appellee Sanford Iwata (Iwata). Abadilla alleges that he was injured when an impactor machine used to crush rocks exploded while Abadilla was greasing the machine. Abadilla filed a complaint against Iwata, the president and manager of the company that employed Abadilla. Iwata filed motions for summary judgment, arguing, among other things, that Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §386-8 (1993), which is part of Hawaii’s workers compensation law, precluded Abadilla’s claims for negligence against Iwata. HRS §386-8 contains an exception to a co-employee’s general immunity from suit by another employee where the co-employee causes personal injury by “willful and wanton misconduct.” The Circuit Court granted Iwata’s motions for summary judgment.

On appeal, Abadilla argues that the Circuit Court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Iwata because: (1) there are genuine issues of material fact regarding whether Iwata engaged in wilful and wanton misconduct that caused Abadilla’s injuries; and (2) Abadilla was not required to present evidence from an expert to avoid summary judgment.