Traffic Incident Victim's Family Settles for $6M-KITV

POSTED: 9:41 PM HST July 27, 2004

Family Settles For $6M

HONOLULU --The family of a woman who suffered permanent brain damage in a car crash on Kunia Road two years ago reached a $6 million settlement. A metal pipe fell off an American Movers truck, flew through Kathy Mueller's windshield and hit her in the head. It left her in a coma for about six months.

Her attorney said she has severe and permanent brain damage and needs 24-hour care. Mueller is now in a wheelchair and cannot speak. "She mumbles some words, but unable to communicate with her family," attorney Wayne Kekina said. "According to the doctor, she does recognize her children and cries when she sees them." Kekina said the tragedy could have been avoided if the pipe was properly secured on the truck.

Mueller's care costs $12,000 a month. The $6.1 million settlement came from American Movers as well as Mueller's own insurance company. The family will use it to move her back into their home and hire nurses to care for her around the clock. The family is now living in Iowa, but hopes to move back to Hawaii.

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