Aston Hotels & Resorts faces second suit

LIHUE — A second civil suit against Aston Hotels & Resorts was filed in 5th Circuit Court on Thursday, for negligence and liability over an underage drinking party prior to a traffic accident that claimed the life of a Kauai youth and injured another on Sept. 11, 2011.

The suit was filed by Koahe Cordeiro, a Kauai resident who alleges that an underage drinking party on the Aston premises was not stopped by hotel staff who were aware, or should have been aware, and did not call police or attempt to stop the illegal activity.

“In our view the state statue was specifically enacted for the purpose of discouraging underage drinking and for holding the owner responsible,” said Cordeiro’s attorney James Leavitt Jr. of the Honolulu firm Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner.

The defendants also include the driver of the vehicle, Brittany Kane, who was 16 at the time, which makes the parents David and Naniloa Wilke liable, Leavitt said.

Kane was allegedly drinking alcohol at the Aston and was intoxicated by early morning Sept. 11, 2011. She left the party with two passengers and shortly after drove her 1997 Pontiac Grand Am into a tree along Kuhio highway causing it to flip over.

Cordeiro suffered serious injuries including fractures, contusions, six broken ribs, damaged vertebra and abrasions to the face and knees. The other passenger, Nahele Hoku Marie Kapua, 16, of Hanamaulu, suffered fatal injuries.

Cordeiro’s suit is seeking damages including $167,704.59 in medical expenses.

“Aston Hotels & Resorts, LLC has not yet been served with the lawsuit and is unable to comment on pending litigation,” said Liane Kelly, associate general counsel for the hotel.

 The Estate of Nahele Hoku Maria Kapua filed a negligence suit against Aston on Jan. 23.

The suit claims the hotel is responsible for the car accident but does not name Kane as a defendant in the suit.

Attorney Ian Mattoch is representing the surviving parents, Karen Marie and Irvil Kapua, and surviving brothers Pohaku Kapua, Nalu Kapua and Makani Kapua.

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