Settlement likely in civil suit

  • Contributed photo

    Kauai Police Department officer Irvin Magayanes

LIHUE — A tentative settlement has been reached in a civil lawsuit filed against the Kauai County Police Department by the family of a 19-year-old Hanapepe man killed by a speeding police cruiser, according to court documents and a county spokesperson.

The lawsuit was filed in Hawaii’s First Circuit Court in 2016 by relatives of Michael Kocher, who died from injuries he sustained when a patrol car driven by Kauai Police Officer Irvin Magayanes hit him on Kaumualii Highway in January 2015.

On the night of the incident, Kocher had been struck by another vehicle and was lying in the road, suffering from non-life threatening injuries. Magayanes was the first officer to respond to the scene and failed to see Kocher in time to stop or avoid hitting him, according to reports.

The GPS on Magayanes car showed he was driving close to 75 mph when he struck Kocher — 25 mph over the legal speed limit, reports said.

Magayanes was acquitted of criminal charges last year when a jury found him not guilty of negligent manslaughter and has since returned to his position with the department. But a year before that verdict was handed down, the Kocher family filed a civil claim against the Kauai Police Department.

Now — nearly four years after his death — Kocher’s family stands to receive some financial compensation.

At a Nov. 20 meeting between legal representatives for both parties in Hawaii’s First Circuit Court, the Kauai Police Department’s attorney stated that a settlement had been reached, and the lawyer representing the Kocher family said documents should be finalized “in a few weeks,” according to court minutes of the meeting.

Neither attorney could be contacted for further comment.

A county public information official confirmed Friday that a preliminary settlement had been reached and said the county is “waiting on final signatures to execute the agreement” but could not release details regarding the amount of the settlement.

The Kauai County Council last month approved a request by the First Deputy County Attorney, requesting authorization to “expend additional funds up to $200,000 from the Claims and Judgments account,” specifically for the litigation of the Kocher family’s civil claim against the police department.

A county spokesperson declined to comment on whether that total is in any way related to the amount of the settlement.

  1. Remember November 26, 2018 5:25 am Reply


    The state of Hawaii had a scientific expert testify that it doesn’t matter if the officer was going 120 mph or 30 mph, the speed was not a factor in the boys death by being ran over.


    Everyone in the state of Hawaii can use this precedence set by the corrupt state of Hawaii Judicial System to fight a ticket or a death by speeding.

    Remember and never forget.

  2. RG DeSoto November 26, 2018 8:38 am Reply

    Of course if it had been a regular taxpaying citizen that had struck and killed Kocher while driving 75 in a 50 mph zone, you can be sure that he would have been convicted. But as usual the overlords are exonerated.
    RG DeSoto

  3. doug henry November 26, 2018 1:18 pm Reply

    Of course the police officer is guilty of negligent manslaughter. What else could it be? I hope the Kocher family gets one million dollars or more. This whole incident is shameful!

  4. harry oyama November 26, 2018 3:31 pm Reply

    Cops that violate laws and injure or kill innocent victims should be paying out of their own pockets and not some pooled funds. It serves as a deterent for other cops who hide behind the badge and do all sorts of crimes knowing their are “protected” by the blue. Also if convicted, cops should not made to retire and collect for life, pensions.

  5. Dorothy November 27, 2018 7:09 am Reply

    I guess no one else is curious why presumably the first hit-and-run vehicle driver left the kid lying draped across the road. As to blame, I guess we always go for deep pockets.

    1. WestKauai November 27, 2018 4:56 pm Reply


      There were several people at the scene of the initial accident. They felt it was not a good idea to move the injured victim, as it might cause further injury. When the responding officer was approaching the scene, the bystanders tried to flag him down but he kept speeding on…

  6. 808sav December 5, 2018 7:16 pm Reply

    Where was they dispatched two ? LMFAO

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