Suit over teen swept to sea settled
HONOLULU — A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a New York teenager swept out to sea during a Kealakekua Bay hiking and kayaking tour has been settled.
Michael Madoff, the father of 15-year-old Tyler Madoff, said Tuesday he hopes tours will be run more carefully in the future.
“We’re just hoping that other families don’t have to go through this. That was really the main thrust of this lawsuit. We don’t really care about the money,” said Madoff, of White Plains, N.Y.
Terms of the settlement reached Monday with Bold Earth Teen Adventures and Hawaii Pack and Paddle were sealed.
Tyler was swept off the west coast of Kealakekua Bay.
His family filed a lawsuit in Honolulu claiming tour guides were negligent for leading teenagers to a dangerous area. They were hiking near the Captain Cook monument at Kealakekua Bay, where they had kayaked, when they stopped to rest at a tide pool and large waves washed Madoff away.
The teens were led to an area that’s out of a state-permitted area despite dangerous surf warnings, according to the lawsuit.
The boy’s body wasn’t recovered.
Marianne Madoff said her family “entrusted our child to be looked after by people who said they would look after him.”
“Our entire family is forever broken. There’s nothing worse than the loss of a child. I miss my boy. I miss my child,” she said.
Attorneys for the Bold Earth Teen Adventures and Hawaii Pack and Paddle didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.
Lawyers for the family had argued in court that Bold Earth Teen Adventures, which is based in Colorado, didn’t perform a proper background check on the trip’s leader, which would have found three marijuana-related convictions. She said the leader was also kicked out of a bar on the Big Island while there for a previous trip for the company in 2011.
The attorneys told the court the tour took too many people and stayed too long in the state park where Tyler was swept out to sea, and didn’t know about warnings of high surf.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.