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Local Woman Suing City for Bacteria Infection


April 9, 2007 11:54 PM

By Stephen Florino

News Photo

HONOLULU (KHNL) – Warning signs should have been posted immediately after last year’s sewage spill at all Waikiki beaches. That comes from a woman who’s suing the city for all the pain and suffering she’s gone through.

Lisa Kennedy suffered a severe bacterial infection. She says it was from that massive sewage spill.

“It’s physically devastating,” said Kennedy. “Financially and emotionally devastating.”

Kennedy’s buttock got infected while surfing at Kaisers, off the Hilton Hawaiian Village. She fell and cut herself on the coral. Kennedy was in the hospital for more than two months, and out of work for six.

“Lot of tissue removal,” said Kennedy. She said she experienced an “extreme amount of pain.”

Doctors say the bacteria was enterococcus, which is related to human feces. Kennedy’s lawyers say the water she was in was polluted from the massive sewage spill days before.

“The city knew they had this massive problem, and they didn’t do anything of way of posting signage so that people, such as Lisa, would know not to go in the water,” said attorney Rick Fried.

In a statement, the city says it did post warning signs the day of, and day after the spill in that area.

Kennedy says she had guests in town, and knew nothing of the spill, and saw no signs along the beach. And because of that, she’s permanently disfigured.

“It’s tough,” said Kennedy. “I don’t feel feminine sometimes. it’s just a tough thing to look at.”

“I’d like something fair for what I’ve been through,” she said. “I’ve been through an incredible amount of pain and suffering and embarrassment and lost wages.”

Both sides admit they’ve been negotiating for months to try and reach an agreement. Lawyers could not say how much Kennedy is asking for, but say it is in the six figures.