Apr 10, 2007

Woman Blames Bacteria Infection on Hawaii Sewage Spill

A 41-year-old woman from Waikiki, Hawaii, claims she has suffered a severe bacterial infection as a result of the city discharging 48 million gallons of raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal last year. This week she has decided to take action by suing the city, contending that the city should have shut down beaches that day and pumped sewage into the canal.

According to the Honolulu Advertiser, Lisa Kennedy went surfing four days after the start of the discharge. She fell on a coral reef, leading to a laceration, which she alleges developed an infection due to the contaminated waters.

Kennedy was hospitalized 11 days with the infection. The suit requests compensation for Kennedy’s pain and suffering, medical bills and loss of wages.

The sewage was pumped into the canal after a major sewer line ruptured. City spokesman Bill Brennan reported to the Honolulu Advertiser that he disagrees that the city did not post adequate warnings. Brennan states that after the start of the discharge on March 24, 2006, the city posted signs in areas that were believed to be affected by the sewage. Additional signs were posted the next day.

Brennan reports that the city denies any liability in the Kennedy case.