Trips and falls

LIHUE — A trio of falls on Kauai have ended up in court.

In one complaint, a company charged with maintaining a grocery store parking lot is being sued for a speed bump trip and fall.

Betty Jean Baldwin, 90, of Kapaa, had just finished work March 19, making and selling jewelry with her daughter at a nearby vacation resort. Sometime between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Baldwin drove to Foodland grocery store in Kapaa.

Walking across the parking lot toward Foodland, Baldwin, who stands 4 feet, 9 inches, tripped on a speed bump and fell, striking her face and forehead on the asphalt and concrete. The paint on the bump was faded, not painted a solid color, and the stripes ran in the same direction as the nearby crosswalk, the suit alleges, and the initial rise of the bump was not painted at all.

The bump caught her foot, and Baldwin’s shoe flew off as she fell to the ground. She was put on a stretcher and transferred by ambulance to Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

Baldwin suffered permanent injury, according to the suit, and is seeking general, special and punitive damages.

The defendant, Krausz Kauai One, is responsible for maintaining the parking lot, to include the speed bumps. There were no cones or signage to warn pedestrians of the bump, the suit alleges, and others have tripped at the same spot.

Baldwin is represented by attorney Bruce Wakuzawa. The suit alleges Krausz failed to fairly investigate before refusing the claim, and stated safety prevention measures for the speed bump were adequate.

In a seperate case, a California man is taking his vacation rental owners to court for an injury that led to a knee replacement.

Jack Kasarjian, of Camarillo, California, filed a civil complaint in 5th Circuit Court on Jan. 29, seeking medical, rehabilitative and therapeutic expenses with a loss of earning capacity. Represented by the firm Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner, the suit charges negligence against Hawaii Beachfront Vacation Homes, Kii Home Owanini, and Indigo Image, doing business as Aloha Beach Vacations.

While a guest at 3948 Anini Beach Road in Kilauea, Kasarjian slipped and fell on the exterior lanai tile outside of the master bedroom on Aug. 19, 2013. He twisted his back and landed hard on his right knee, requiring arthroplasty, and eventually a full knee replacement.

The suit alleges the exterior lanai tile was not slip resistant when wet and that certain areas lack railings. It claims the defendants did not take appropriate measures to mitigate risks, such as posting warnings or training employees to take reasonable precautions to guard against injury from unsafe conditions in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes concerning vacation rental agreements.

The third case also involves a knee replacement as a result of a fall on a slippery floor.

On Feb. 5, Robert and Elisabeth D’Andrea, through their attorney Jon Jacobs, filed a negligence civil complaint in 5th Circuit Court. The suit claims Home Depot U.S.A. was negligent in not taking adequate action to prevent customers from falling on a wet floor.

On May 13, 2013, Robert D’Andrea was shopping in the Garden Center of the Home Depot in Lihue. He purchased some plants and went to step away from the cash register when he slipped and fell on water located inside the store.

The water was reportedly the result of rainy and windy conditions outside. D’Andrea would need a total knee replacement.

The suit charges Home Depot with not taking adequate measures to keep the floor safe, or to notice caution of the hazard. It seeks damages to include ongoing medical and rehabilitate expenses.

The three cases are not yet assigned to a judge. No hearings have been scheduled.


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