Honolulu, HI – Hilton Hotels Corp. will pay $1.832 million to guests who stayed in the Kalia Tower at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa at the time the tower was infested with mold. Under the terms of the settlement, guests can take either $150 in travel coupons or $50 cash for each night’s stay. Approximately 2,900 guests are covered by the settlement.
The tentative settlement of the class-action suit was announced by two Honolulu law firms, David Levin Livingston Grande and Price Okamoto Himeno & Lum, which represented guests who stayed in the newly opened Kalia Tower from June 14 through July 23, 2002.
“We’re certainly grateful we were able to negotiate something that gives value back to the class members,” said Thomas Grande, a partner of the law firm Davis Levin Livingston Grande firm. “We are very satisfied with the settlement results.” As the media has poorly covered, most mold cases are about justice, not hysteria driven people looking for monetary rewards. In a recent survey, 97.4% of mold litigants polled, the average litigant seeks only replacement of items destroyed by mold, and in some cases, medical bills only.
Defense oriented people who make mega-millions from the corruption of this big industry who stand to lose from their responsibilities and high liabilities from neurological illness. This is generally due to moldy buildings and lack of maintenance and many of these mold naysayers try to down-play the health hazards of mold and implicate these people as opportunists or litigious zealots. This marketing campaign has worked with the overly-ignorant, but as the saying goes, “Never underestimate the intelligence of the American public.” With this said, millions of people already realize the health hazards of fungal exposure and only time till tell that either the grossly uneducated, superbly ignorant, or people who stand to lose substantial sums of money from the exposure of this health crisis.
Due to the extreme health hazards, Kalia Tower was closed for 14 months after mold was found in some of the rooms, the apparent result of faults in the air conditioning system. Very few asbestos cases led to hotel closures as long as this, proving the gross health effects of mold exposure.
The 315-room tower reopened in September 2003. Hilton placed the cost of repairs and lost room revenue at $55 million and sued the architects and contractors who worked on the project for negligence. The settlement, which was given preliminary approval by First Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna, does not include attorneys’ fees, which will be decided at a later settlement hearing. Unfortunately, mold due to construction defect is the number one problem for fungal disease around the United States.
No one from Hilton Hawaiian Village responded to requests for comment.
Written by Susan Lilliard-Roberts