Lisa Wilson will be permitted to amend the claims she is seeking in her civil suit against Byron Say after yesterday’s successful motion in Circuit Court.
On June 25, 2005, Wilson was allegedly knocked from the back of a motorcycle by a truck driven by Say and then dragged under the vehicle before he reportedly fled the scene.
According to District Court records, a toxicology report revealed that Say was driving under the influence of morphine, methamphetamine and amphetamine at the time of the accident.
A legal loophole allowed Say to escape that incident with only a petty misdemeanor conviction, but justice was eventually served when Say was sentenced to 25 years in prison on a variety of drug and other charges.
Yesterday, 5th Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano granted two of three aspects of the motion brought by Teresa Tico, Wilson’s attorney, allowing the plaintiff to seek additional claims when the civil trial begins Sept. 14.
Tico was hoping to add three torts to the original lawsuit, which was based on a negligence claim filed by Wilson’s former representation, Mark Zenger.
“The amendments are proper, appropriate, and justice should allow them,” said Tico.
O‘ahu-based defense attorney Robert Mash argued that the event occurred almost three years ago, that the lawsuit has been negligence-based from the start, that multiple court deadlines have passed, and that it is now too close to trial to begin adding claims.
At one point during Mash’s argument, Tico attempted to interrupt, but was quieted and reassured by Valenciano.
“You will have your chance,” the judge told her.
New claims of assault and battery and infliction of emotional distress — both based on Say’s intent and not mere negligence — were granted by Valenciano, as well as the opportunity to seek punitive damages, designed not to compensate Wilson but to punish Say for his actions.
Valenciano, who described his court as “conservative” and said he did not want to do anything “groundbreaking,” declined to grant a third tort not yet recognized by the Hawai‘i Supreme Court that would have dealt with the hit and run allegations.
• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or email@example.com