Showing posts from August, 2009

ICA Examines Cumulative Evidence and Expert Testimony

Udac v. Takata Corp. (ICA August 19, 2009) Background. Udac was driving a 1981 Nissan Pathfinder on the Big Island. The Pathfinder went off the road at around 55 mph, hit lava rocks, and rolled. Udac and his passenger were ejected. Udac was rendered a paraplegic. Udac sued Takata Corp. and Hawaii Motors alleging negligence, product liability, breach of warranties, negligent/intentional infliction of emotional distress, loss of consortium, and punitive damages. Udac contended that the Pathfinder's driver-side seatbelt designed by Takata failed to restrain Udac. At trial, Udac called Dr. Renfroe, who testified that he examined the seatbelt in the Pathfinder and opined that Udac was wearing it at the time of the accident. He also opined that the marks showed a defect in the seatbelt. Takata called its own expert, Dr. Banks, who did a separate study on seatbelts in Pathfinders. Udac objected on the grounds that it was cumulative of testimony given by Takata'

Hindering-Prosecution Prosecution not Hindered by Unlawful Police Conduct

State v. Line (HSC August 11, 2009) Background. The police caught Dean Line with a crystal methamphetamine pipe and tiny plastic bags. Dean told the police that he would arrange a buy with his dealer. They agreed. Dean went to his house and never came out. The police went to the house to get him, but a woman's voice from the house indicated that he was not home. The police went away. The next day Officer Perreira and Sergeant Kikuchi went back to the house to arrest Dean. Again, a woman's voice told them that he was not home. The police left again. Two days later, the police returned. They had no warrant for the house. When they pulled up they saw Dean, who ran back into the house. The police chased him to the house in the back. Officer Perreira and Sergeant Kikuchi were not in uniform, but they announced that they were the police, ordered Dean to stop, and flashed their guns, badges, and taser guns. Dean ran into the house through a sliding glass door.

Redefining "Original Judgment"

Roxas v. Marcos (HSC August 10, 2009) Background. In 1971, Roxas found the famed "Yamashita Treasure," a gold bullion buried by Japanese soldiers in the Philippines during World War Two. Ferdinand Marcos' men stole the treasure, arrested Roxas, and tortured him. Roxas transferred his interest in the treasure to the Golden Budha Corporation. In 1988, Roxas and Golden Budha sued Ferdinand for false imprisonment and battery. After Ferdinand died, the parties stipulated to substitute Imelda Marcos, his wife. The jury found against Ferdinand on all counts, but not against Imelda in her personal capacity. The circuit court entered judgment on August 28, 1996. The judgment was amended on October 21, 1996 and both parties appealed. The HSC reversed and vacated part of the amended judgment in 1998, but "[i]n all other respects, the circuit court's amended judgment is affirmed." Roxas v. Marcos , 89 Hawai'i 91, 157, 969 P.2d 1209, 1275 (1998).