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Willis v Swain - Basic UM is required in HJUP policies
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A recent Hawaii Supreme Court case appears to generally require the existence of basic UM (Uninsured Motorist) coverage in HJUP (Hawaii Joint Underwriting Program) auto policies. See, Willis v. Swain, Hawaii Supreme Court No. 25992 (October 26, 2006). In that case the HJUP insurer (First Insurance) argued that HJUP policies are not required to include UM coverage. In addition First Insurance also asserted that, even if HJUP policies generally must include UM coverage, that their letter sent with the policy stating "[i]f you desire ... [UM] ... coverage ... , contact an insurance agent to assist you in obtaining these coverages upon payment of the appropriate premium..." was sufficient to constitute an offer of UM coverage and the insured was deemed to have rejected such coverage if the insured took no action after receiving such a letter. The Hawaii Supreme Court rejected those positions and stated that the letter was at most an invitation to initiate negotiation, not an offer. Furthermore, since the coverage had not been properly offered and refused, Willis's HJUP policy automatically included UM coverage by operation of law and she was entitled to assert her UM claim against First Insurance.
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In August 2018 3M Co. agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle allegations that it and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies Inc, knowingly sold defective combat ear plugs to the U.S. military. The ear plugs were too short for proper insertion into the users' ears and could easily loosen and not perform effectively. Military personnel who suffered hearing loss during combat or training exercises between 2003 to 2015 may qualify for a one-time award. For more on defective product claims, see: Honolulu product liability claims.
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