Family seeks damages in truck diver's death

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

By Star-Bulletin staff

The family of a 70-year-old truck driver, crushed to death by concrete piles that rolled off a truck, filed a lawsuit yesterday against the forklift operator who was unloading them and the company for which he worked.

Nobuo Tani, a driver for Ed Yamashiro Inc., was killed Sept. 12 when two 3,600-pound piles rolled onto him during unloading at the waterfront at Hickam Air Force Base, said his family's attorney, Wayne Kekina.

Tani was delivering a load of piles and standing outside his truck and untying straps when the piles crushed him, Kekina said. The suit alleges forklift operator George Leota was negligent when he unloaded the piles from the trailer. The suit also alleges his employer, Healy Tibbits Builders Inc., was negligent and that their negligence caused Tani's fatal injuries.

Kekina said Tani's death is especially difficult for his wife and six great-grandchildren, ranging from age 6 to age 14, who were dependent on him for financial support.