$1.4 Million Settlement Favors Kamehameha Schools

December 21, 2011, 10:16 AM HST · Updated December 21, 11:01 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Kamehameha Schools, file photo by Wendy Osher.

A lawsuit filed by Kamehameha Schools against a non-Native Hawaiian applicant, his mother and their former attorney has been resolved with a $1.4 million settlement in favor of the school.

Kamehameha Schools filed the suit in 2008 following an alleged breach of their 2007 settlement.  The earlier settlement agreement ended the 2003 challenge brought against Kamehameha Schools over their Hawaiian-preference admissions policy.

The school filed the subsequent suit in Third Circuit Court seeking an unspecified amount of damages based on comments made by one of the attorneys for the unnamed student to the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper.  Kamehameha officials say settlement terms were disclosed in the article, resulting in a confidentiality breach of the agreement.

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A Kamehameha Trustee message issued on Monday stated, “The settlement provides just compensation to Kamehameha Schools for the wrongful behavior of a member of the Does’ former legal team.” It further states, that the settlement ends the suit and avoids “the expense and distraction” of another “time-consuming” court case.

In conjunction with the settlement, attorney Eric Grant said, “I deeply regret that Kamehameha Schools was deprived of confidentiality, which was an important benefit of the 2007 Settlement Agreement. I likewise regret that my efforts, including procuring a court order barring Mr. Goemans from disclosing the settlement terms, were not enough to prevent him from doing so.”

The trustee letter concluded saying, “We are happy to put this episode behind us, free of any residual drag on our ability and resources to focus on fulfilling the vision of our Founder.”

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