An ABC News medical correspondent has died in a Hawaii accident. According to Hawaii News Now, the doctor and reporter died while on vacation in Kauai. Reports indicate that she lost her footing while trying to cross the Lumahai River and was swept out with the waves. Although lifeguards rushed to the scene, she was unresponsive when they reached her. Lifeguards brought her to shore and gave her CPR, but it was too late. She was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Observers note that this area can be dangerous for those unfamiliar with the area, particularly during the winter when surf is up on the North Shore. However, there were no flash flood or high surf advisories on this day.
This tragedy underscores some of the inherent dangers surrounding Hawaii's natural beauty.
Recently, a number of high profile lawsuits have been filed involving tourist who have been injured while vacationing in Hawaii. Many of these allege "ocean liability" – i.e. that the visitors were not adequately informed or warned about the ocean dangers, and that they were lulled into a false sense of security. Often, such lawsuits may be filed against hotels or other vendors who have organized outings, and may have had a duty to warn the guest concerning adequate safety precautions. Sometimes the inherent risks and dangers are so "open and obvious" that no warnings are required. However, if a possessor of the land knows or should have known that a condition exists on the land that creates an unreasonable risk of harm, then the possessor owes a duty to take reasonable steps to eliminate the risk and or adequately warn against it.
For more information about premises or "ocean" liability, please contact the experienced Hawaii personal injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.