Whatever Happened To...

Star Bulletin

Whatever Happened To...
An update on past news

July 8, 2006

Alleged sewage spill victims recovering

Question: What ever happened to Lisa Kennedy and George Koenig, who said they were infected earlier this year by bacteria in Waikiki's sand and ocean after city officials were forced to reroute 48 million gallons of untreated sewage into the Ala Wai canal, which runs into the sea?

Answer: Both Waikiki residents said that although the infections have subsided, their infected body parts have not fully recovered.

After spending 13 days on morphine and antibiotics in April, Kennedy, who claimed bacteria in Waikiki waters infected a cut she suffered while surfing, had plastic surgery on her buttocks in June. Her attorney, Rick Fried, said she might need further surgery.

Koenig's wife, Christine, said her husband, who claimed his foot was infected by bacteria in the sand on Waikiki beach, spent about $1,500 for medications and shots to treat the infection.

She said it originated from a cut on his big toe that eventually spread up his leg to his lower shin, and that it took more than two months for new skin to cover the infected area. She said that although his foot appears to be "somewhat normal," it is still often "sore and itchy."

She said that since her husband was not concerned with the aesthetics of his slightly disfigured foot, he would not request plastic surgery or pursue legal action unless the infection "acted up again," because it was "very stressful" recovering from the infection.

Kennedy's attorney said his client had filed a claim with the City and County of Honolulu.

Kurt Tsue, a spokesman for the state Department of Health, who mentioned no one has filed a complaint or lawsuit with the state, said, "It's difficult to prove it's from the water, because it could be from anywhere."


This update was written by Star-Bulletin reporter Venus Lee.