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State briefs for March 31

Jury awards $700K to man in case against hospital

LIHUE, Kauai — A federal jury awarded more than $700,000 in damages to a Kauai man who sued a hospital, saying staff injected him against his will with anti-psychotic drugs that left him incapacitated for months.

A jury in U.S. District Court unanimously concluded March 22 that Wilcox Memorial Hospital emergency room staff intentionally or recklessly inflicted emotional distress on Cameron Raymond of Kauai while he was a patient at the hospital in 2013.

The hospital said in a statement that the it is reviewing the ruling with its attorneys and cannot comment further.

Raymond declined to comment.

The incident occurred during a custody battle between Raymond and his ex-wife. She called police to his home June 5, 2013, saying she became worried about his behavior after receiving strange text messages and phone calls from him while he was taking care of their children, according to court records.

Raymond denies the allegation.

He was detained in arm and leg shackles and taken by Kauai police officers to the hospital emergency room for an involuntary psychological evaluation, records state.

Hours later, a doctor drew Raymond’s blood for a drug test. It came back negative for any illegal drugs.

Staff decided it was not safe for officers to transport Raymond to Mahelona Medical Center in Kapaa, Kauai, without rendering him incapacitated with injections containing two different anti-psychotic medications, according to records.

Raymond remained incapacitated and was forced to move in with his parents, according to records that say he could barely move for six months.

Ex-labor union official pleads guilty to ID theft

HONOLULU — A former high-ranking official for a dock worker labor union admitted he cashed his deceased father’s Social Security benefit checks and failed to pay his federal income taxes.

Former International Longshore and Warehouse Union Division Director Nathan Yuen Grit Lum pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to one count of aggravated identity theft and failing to file his income tax return for 2012.

Lum agreed to pay the IRS $77,934 in back taxes and repay the Social Security Administration $33,435.

Lum faces a mandatory two-year prison term for the identity theft and up to an additional year in custody for the tax return charge. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July.

Lum’s father, Harris Y.S. Lum, died in 2013.

New 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge sworn in

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — The newest 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge was sworn in Friday in eastern Idaho.

Ryan Nelson, a longtime Idaho Falls resident and attorney for Melaleuca Inc., was nominated by President Donald Trump to the 9th Circuit in May. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a mostly partisan vote of 51-44.

During his investiture ceremony in Idaho Falls, Nelson said he believed the courts should be the weakest branch of the government. He said the courts gained more power than intended through the years.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handles federal appellate cases for most Western states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, as well as the U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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