Xerox murder case settled

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Star-Bulletin staff

citydesk@starbulletin.com

A civil case filed by survivors and families of the seven victims slain by convicted killer Byran Uyesugi in Honolulu's worst multiple murder was settled earlier this week. Terms of the settlement prevent the parties involved from discussing it or the case, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendants who declined comment.

On Nov. 2, 1999, copy machine repairman Uyesugi arrived for work at Xerox Corp.'s warehouse on Nimitz Highway and opened fire on his co-workers, killing seven and narrowly missing two others. Killed were Jason Balatico, Ford Kanehira, Ronald Kataoka, Ronald Kawamae, Peter Mark, John Sakamoto and Melvin W.T. Lee. Families of the seven men killed filed wrongful death lawsuits against Uyesugi, Xerox Corp., its managers Crisis Management International Inc., Drs. Denis Mee-Lee, Marvin Acklin and Marvin Mathews, Castle Medical Center, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Hawaii Permanente Medical Group Inc. Randall Shin, who watched two of his co-workers gunned down, and George Moad, who discovered the bodies, also sued.

The suits, which were consolidated into one case, alleged that the defendants were aware of Uyesugi's history of violence at work and did not do enough to protect fellow employees and prevent the tragedy. The parties have been in mediation and settlement talks since December, and trial was scheduled for the first week of March. Evidence was presented at Uyesugi's criminal trial that he suffered from schizophrenia and was plagued by delusions that his co-workers were conspiring to sabotage his work and hobbies.

A jury rejected Uyesugi's claim of insanity and convicted him of first-degree murder, which carries the harshest penalty under state law. He was ordered to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.