City worker who may have been exposed to radiation hired attorney days before his death
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A city maintenance worker who may have been exposed to radiation while fixing a tire on a garbage truck hired a high-profile attorney just 10 days before his death.
The development comes as investigations into Charles Kuailani’s cause of death continue.
Those who knew the 55-year-old say he’ll be remembered as a hard worker who was always smiling.
“Take a look at who he was: A robust strong guy to a little more than skin and bones. And it was quick,” said attorney Michael Green as he showed a pictures of Kuailani before and after his illness.
“How does this happen,” Green asked.
Kuailani was a tire repair worker for the city.
Records obtained by Hawaii News Now indicate he was possibly exposed to radiation back in December while changing a tire on a truck at the Keehi Transfer Station.
Over the next four months, Kuailani lost close to 100 pounds and was hospitalized multiple times with symptoms like nausea, dizziness and numbness to his upper body and face.
Green says he met the man at the Queen’s Medical Center ― less than two weeks before he died.
“Something dramatic killed him. It wasn’t like he’s got cancer. He suffers and winds up dying. This was a dramatic change,” Green said.
The attorney also described what he knows about the day Kuailani may have been exposed.
“A truck was delivered to his workplace and I think it was a garbage truck kind of thing. And he’s asked to work on the left rear tire,” Green said.
Hawaii’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation. The city says it’s also investigating.
But neither agency answered any of HNN’s questions about case.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of this. He deserves that,” Green said.
“This is something we’re going to help the family get answers to. One way or another.”
The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office told HNN the results of Kuailani’s autopsy aren’t expected for another three months.
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