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Family of infant who died at Honolulu Airport filing suit

Updated at 9:58 p.m., Monday, February 11, 2008

Advertiser Staff

The family of an infant from American Samoa who died Friday morning at Honolulu Airport after his mother and a nurse were detained by immigration officials in a locked room plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office today identified the infant as 14-day-old Michael Futi of Tafuna, American Samoa’s largest village located on the east coast of Tutuila Island. Autopsy findings for cause and manner have been deferred.

Attorney Rick Fried of Cronin, Fried, Sekiya, Kekina & Fairbanks is calling a 1 p.m. news conference tomorrow to announce the lawsuit. Fried today would only say the child, who had come to Hawai’i for heart surgery, died after being detained by airport immigration following a flight from American Samoa.

According to police, the child became unresponsive at 5:50 a.m. Emergency Medical Service personnel dispatched to the airport U.S. Customs checkpoint at 6:15 a.m. took the child to a hospital emergency room where efforts to revive Futi were unsuccessful.

It is unknown how long immigration officials detained the mother, nurse and child in the room and the reason they were held up.