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Arbitrator Awards Hawaii Prisoner $7,500 for Injuries Sustained While Working in Kitchen

On March 10, 2008, a Hawaii prisoner was awarded $7,500 through arbitration after being burned by hot coffee.

On April 3, 2007, Will Kaaihue received second degree burns down the left side of his body while working in the kitchen at the Halawa Correctional Facility. Kaaihue had been attempting to move a five gallon container filled with hot coffee when the coffee spilled out and burned him. The spill was caused by a worn out latch on the container that failed.
Kaaihue sued the State of Hawaii and the kitchen supervisor, alleging that they were negligent in failing to provide safe working conditions. The arbitrator awarded Kaaihue $10,000 in general damages and $2,323.88 in costs. The $10,000 award was reduced to $7,500, though, due to Kaaihue’s contributory negligence – Kaaihue did not have permission to move the coffee container. Kaaihue was represented by John L. Rapp.
See: Kaaihue v. State of Hawaii, No. 070799 (1st Circuit Hawaii).

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Related legal case

Kaaihue v. State of Hawaii