Kienker v. Bauer, Hawaii Supreme Court No. 25856 (March 14, 2006) - The Hawaii Supreme Court recently issued a decision which holds that the State can be jointly and severally liable (1) under 663-10.9(4) for the recovery of noneconomic damages in motor vehicle accidents involving the maintenance and design of highways and (2) under HRS section 663-10.9(1) for the recovery of economic damages against joint tortfeasors in actions involving injury or death to persons. The Court specifically found that 663-10.5 (which says that the State is only liable in damages for its percent of liability) fails to superscede 663-10.9(4). The net effect of this holding is that if the State (or a municipality) has prior notice of a roadway maintenaince or design defect causing an accident, it may be jointly and severally under 663-10.9(4). The government can only rely on 663-10.5 if there is no prior notice.
Moving a flagpole near live electrical wires can be very dangerous. A Grayson County, Texas jury has awarded more than $15.6 million to the families of 3 victims of an accident that occurred while they were moving a flagpole in May 2017. The electrocution killed 1 and injured 2. The property manager of the apartment complex where the flagpole was located was found to be negligent for placing the flag pole too close to overhead power lines. See, An award of $15.6 million for 3 victims of electrocution.
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