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Judge rejects Arakawa's complaint


Clyde Arakawa says a faulty traffic light caused a fatal crash

Star-Bulletin staff

A Circuit judge dismissed Clyde Arakawa's third-party complaint against the city claiming a traffic light at Pali Highway and Iolani Avenue wasn't functioning properly, causing the collision between him and Dana Ambrose.

Judge Sabrina McKenna agreed with the city's contention that Arakawa's attorneys had failed to notify the court of their intent to file a third-party complaint, as required by the Hawaii Rules of Court Procedure.

McKenna, however, left the door open for Arakawa's attorneys to file it a second time, granted that notice is provided. She said the court would require a "good faith" showing before the claim can be allowed.

Michael Ostendorp, Arakawa's attorney, said he intends to refile the complaint.

Arakawa's third-party complaint stems from a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the Ambrose family against him and two establishments that allegedly served him drinks the night he collided with Ambrose's car, killing her.

Last month, McKenna tossed out Arakawa's claim against Ambrose's estate for damage his Thunderbird sustained in the crash. Ambrose attorney Rick Fried had opposed that claim, saying it was not timely.