Trouble in Paradise: Hawaii Association Slapped with $1.2M Settlement

January 21, 2014
| Share | Print

A couple will receive nearly $1.2 million to settle their lawsuit against a Molokai, Hawaii, condo association. The husband and wife claimed that they became targets for abuse after attempting to elect new board leaders for their condominium. Two insurance carriers for the association and its directors will pay the couple $1.175 million, as part of a recently approved settlement.

The homeowners were awarded nearly $4 million by a jury previously, as compensation for retaliation they claimed they faced for trying to remove the directors and an unlicensed contractor who has a criminal record but did various odd jobs around the Ke Nani Kai Condominium complex.

The verdict—the largest in the state involving a non-construction condo dispute—has resulted in three Ke Nani Kai directors, who served as volunteers, being ordered to pay damages of $200,000 to $300,000. The lawsuit also drew attention because Hawaii has the largest concentration of condominiums of any state in the country and because condo representatives say governance and neighbor disputes have been increasing.

A judge later set aside the $4 million verdict and ordered a new trial. The recent settlement doesn’t include any admission of wrongdoing. The directors named in the lawsuit no longer serve on the board.