Moss rock battle lands in court

LIHUE — A failed agreement over harvested moss rock has the parties in court.

The case filed in 5th Circuit Court by Lihue attorney Patrick Childs on Feb. 5 seeks court relief over a breach of contract claim from the plaintiffs, Lenny Camat and Franklin Kelekoma, against defendant Thomas Aiu.

The parties allegedly entered into a 2007 agreement in which Camat and Kelekoma agreed to recover moss rock from the Poipu area for Aiu. In exchange, they would keep one-half of the rock they removed.

The two used machinery to harvest rock in the late afternoon and evening hours and stored it in a storage area leased from Grove Farm.

The work went on for several months and the two estimate the harvest rock value in the hundreds of thousands of dollars on the market.

Moss rock is considered valuable for use in Hawaiian-style construction such as rock wall, facia, and water features. A prolonged construction slump prompted the parties to leave the rock in storage until the economy recovered and rock increased in value.

Camat and Kelekoma informed Aiu of their plans to pick up their share of the rock on Oct. 29, 2012. The suit claims Aiu said their share was 60 cubic yards and instructed them to remove it in two days.

The share is considered lower than half the amount and the suit alleges it would not have been possible to remove the rock in that short of time, regardless of the correct or incorrect share.

In November 2012, Camat and Kelekoma informed Aiu they were sending a courier to pick up one-half of the rock, the agreed upon share in the original agreement. They said the arrangement with the courier was made for December 2012.

The complaint states that Aiu called Kauai Police Department and the courier’s efforts to remove the rock was halted. The rock continues to remain on Grove Farm land.

Camat and Kelekoma are asking the court for injunctive relief and to award them the amount of rock they contend was the contractual agreement. They are asking for damages for breach of contract to include attorney fees and compensation for the value of any rock not turned over.

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