Company, driver sued in accident

October 9, 2002

By Curtis Lum, ADVERTISER STAFF WRITER

Object from truck critically injured woman in Kunia

The family of a 36-year-old woman who was critically injured when she was struck by a metal object that fell off a moving company truck has filed a lawsuit against the company.

Kathy Mueller, now comatose, was hit in the head by the metal cylinder as she drove south on Kunia Road June 10. The 13-pound object fell off an oncoming vehicle, bounced off the road and crashed through Mueller's windshield, according the lawsuit.

Mueller's car veered off the roadway and crashed into a guardrail. She was taken to The Queen's Medical Center where she has undergone four operations, family said.

The Circuit Court lawsuit was filed by attorney Wayne Kekina on behalf of Mueller's husband, Mark, and the Muellers' two sons, Kelby, 4, and Parker, six months. Named as defendants were American Movers and Ernesto Ganiron, identified in the lawsuit as the driver of the truck.

American Movers' officials could not be reached for comment yesterday. The lawsuit seeks an undetermined amount in damages.

The lawsuit describes the object as a "13-pound bullet-shaped solid piece of metal" that was part of a hydraulic jack head. The part was being transported by American Movers from the `Ewa Sugar Mill to Waialua Sugar Mill at the time of the accident, the lawsuit said.

American Movers and Ganiron were negligent, the lawsuit alleges, because the metal object was improperly loaded and secured on the truck, causing it to fall onto the road.

Mueller requires constant nursing home care and her medical expenses have exceeded $350,000, the lawsuit said.