LIHU‘E — A couple is suing the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort after the then-newlywed husband slipped on stairs at the resort nearly two years ago.
A trial date was supposed to be scheduled in Fifth Circuit Court on Tuesday, Oct. 17, but the scheduling conference was pushed back as attorneys for defendant DHC Food &Beverage Corporation, which operates the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort, did not appear before Judge Randal Valenciano.
The case revolves around an incident that occurred on Dec. 2, 2021, when Matan Lushkov slipped while walking down the stairs of the Kapa‘a resort’s lobby while on a honeymoon with his wife, Mary Lushkov.
According to the court document filed on April 11, 2023, by attorney Michael Noonan, the fall caused injuries to Matan Lushkov, including rib fractures and a herniated disc in his back.
The document blames Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort for failing to keep the premises in a safe condition and failing to protect Matan Lushkov against foreseeable injury.
“This is a case that arises from the negligence of Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort,” the document states.
The stairs were “deficient in a number of ways,” according to the document. Deficiencies cited included the stairs being very wide and only having rails on the sides, stair mats being insufficiently placed to catch water even though it had been raining that day, a lack of traction on the stairs, and no caution signs alerting the Lushkovs to the wet stairs.
“Mr. Lushkov continues to suffer severe pain and injury, loss of enjoyment of life, and has incurred and will continue to incur reasonable and necessary medical expenses and lost wages, all within the jurisdictional limits of this court,” the document states.
The resort’s operators have been charged with negligence for allegedly failing to keep the premises safe and “loss of consortium” due to Mary Lushkov’s marital relationship suffering because of her husband’s fall.
“Mrs. Lushkov has suffered and will continue to suffer the loss of services, society, and companionship of Mr. Lushkov,” according to the lawsuit.
The document states the amount the couple is seeking for damages and other costs will be proven at the time of trial.
In court Tuesday afternoon, Valeciano said he did not know why attorneys for the defendant were not present.
“I don’t want to set a hearing date without the other attorneys participating,” Valenciano said.
Noonan, who appeared in court via Zoom, was criticized by Valenciano for not dressing in “lawyer clothes.”
Noonan apologized for his attire, saying he was home sick with COVID.
“Even people with COVID can put on a shirt and tie,” Valenciano said.
“It is hard enough ruling on cases and focusing on the issues without being the fashion police, but we’re going to continue this on the 26th, and at the next hearing, you’re going to have the opportunity to dress appropriately,” he said.
Noonan noted he would be dressed appropriately at the next hearing, and he would also appear “as all lawyers should.”
Valenciano said Noonan was “ahead of the curve” by having at least appeared in court. The next hearing was scheduled for Oct. 26 at 1 p.m.
Valenciano referred to Noonan’s attire once again before moving on to the next case.
“Mr. Noonan was wearing a T-shirt. He tried to cover it with his coat, but it was obvious he was wearing a T-shirt,” said Valenciano.
“I needed to put that on the record in case somebody complains,” he added.
Emma Grunwald, reporter, can be reached 808-652-0638 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island