City agrees to pay $2M to settle lawsuits over flood damage in East Honolulu
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city has agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle lawsuits filed by nine East Oahu homeowners and a church over damages caused by the 2018 flood.
The City Council’s Executive matters and Legal Affairs Committee approved the measure last week.
The settlement goes to the full Council next week.
The historic East Honolulu floods in April 2018 came after a series of thunderstorms dumped more than 5 inches of rain over a 24-hour period, washing tons of debris through hundreds of properties.
But in lawsuits filed in Circuit Court in 2021, Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church and nine homeowners alleged that the city was partly to blame for damage they suffered.
The suit alleges that the city didn’t properly inspect or maintain nearby drainage systems, which had flooded several times in recent years.
The head of a local homeowners association agrees.
“The city just doesn’t provide any maintenance and just appears to come out and fix pipes when they break but doesn’t do anything to replace the infrastructure, which is really old and inadequate,” said attorney Eric Seitz, chair of the Niu Valley Community Association.
All 10 of the plaintiffs are represented by attorney Lyle Hosoda, who had no immediate comment.
The city Department of Corporation Counsel is also seeking approval for the settlement. But because it was approved in executive session, the city only provided limited details.
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