Medical examiner says city worker’s death not caused by radiation exposure; family’s attorney unconvinced

The family’s attorney is unconvinced.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 4:19 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Medical Examiner says the death of a city maintenance worker doesn’t appear to be caused from radiation exposure.

An autopsy determined Charles Kuailani died from a hemorrhagic stroke triggered by a rare disease.

But the family’s attorney says he’s not convinced and is bringing in his own experts to investigate.

That investigation on behalf of the family is being facilitated by attorney Michael Green.

Meanwhile, a separate investigation by Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health into workplace practices is also going into its seventh month.

“This is just unusual,” said Green. “I’m interested in it because we don’t see these things.”

Kuailani, 55, hired Green just 10 days before he died.

“When he went to the hospital. He just wasted away,” said Green.

The attorney says the tire repair worker may have been exposed to radiation while working on a city garbage truck at the Keehi Transfer Station in December.

“The truck that eventually came to the workplace was turned away from the dump because of hazardous materials,” Green said.

Over the course of the next four months, Kuailani’s health rapidly deteriorated.

He lost nearly 100 pounds and was hospitalized multiple times, complaining of numbness to his upper body and face, dizziness, nausea and loss of taste. In early April, he was found unresponsive and died the next day.

This week, the Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office completed Kuailani’s autopsy, saying he died of natural causes.

Specifically his cause of death was a hemorrhagic stroke due to microscopic polyangiitis, a rare disease that causes small blood vessels to be inflamed and or high blood pressure.

“I’m not buying what I’m seeing so far,” Green said. “I want to look at the medical records from the hospital he died at.”

Green says he plans to have medical experts review those records along with Kuailani’s autopsy report.

“I just want to look a little bit further as I think is my obligation of being an ethical lawyer. And being trusted for getting answer for them,” Green said. “I just want to look at it.”

The city declined to be interviewed about this story.

A spokesperson said in an email the city is confident in the medical examiner’s findings.