Barring legislative action, law that gives Hawaii lifeguards immunity from lawsuits set to expire

Published: Apr. 27, 2017 at 6:57 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 28, 2017 at 3:30 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii lifeguards will lose immunity from lawsuits this summer after the Senate announced Thursday night that they are going along with a House bill that allows the protection to expire.

The law currently provides immunity to county lifeguards from having to defend themselves in suits dealing with injuries suffered while on Oahu beaches.

Unless the House and Senate can agree on a compromise by Friday, the protection will expire on June 30.

Lifeguards from across Oahu rallied near  Ala Moana Beach Park Thursday afternoon, demanding state lawmakers extend their protection from liability-centered lawsuits.

Some legislators argue that allowing the law to expire is necessary to give victims' families the option to sue if a lifeguard is negligent.

Lifeguards who serve at state beaches will be defended by the Attorney General. County attorneys will have to defend guard from other beaches.

A final reading is scheduled for tomorrow.

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