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Thursday, July 20, 2023
DoE Wins Fire Alarm Lawsuit
By News Release @ 3:51 AM :: 1998 Views :: Education K-12

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PREVAILS IN $1 MILLION DISPUTE CONCERNING FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

News Release from DoE, Jul 19, 2023

HONOLULU, HI – The Hawaiʻi Department of Education (DOE) has prevailed in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff had sought $1 million in damages relating to the installation of fire alarm systems at eight public schools.

Between May 2012 and November 2013, the DOE executed contracts with Ohana Control Systems, Inc. (OCS) for the purpose of upgrading or installing fire alarm systems at eight public schools: Benjamin Parker Elementary School, Dole Middle School, Mililani Middle School, Puʻuhale Elementary School, Waiau Elementary School, Waiheʻe Elementary School, Momilani Elementary School, and Mokulele Elementary School.

The DOE terminated six of those contracts for cause between 2015 and 2016 on multiple grounds, including failure to complete work on time. The seventh contract was terminated for convenience in 2015. Only one of the eight contracts was completed in 2015. 

On January 5, 2022, OCS filed a lawsuit against the DOE, asserting 25 separate claims, including claims that DOE breached all eight contracts.

On June 14, 2023, Circuit Court Judge Kevin T. Morikone granted summary judgment in favor of the DOE on several grounds including that OCS’s claims are without merit and that claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Final judgment in favor of the DOE was entered on July 17, 2023.

The DOE was represented by the team of Deputy Attorneys General Anne Horiuchi, Kevin Richardson, Ronald Rodriguez, Bradford Chun, and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Carter Siu.

“We are very satisfied with the court’s decision,” says Deputy Attorney General Anne Horiuchi. “The Department of the Attorney General will vigorously defend against meritless and untimely claims brought against the state.”

The case is Ohana Control Systems, Inc. v. Hayashi, et al., Civil No. 1CCV-22-0000013. A copy of the Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law can be found here. A copy of the Judgment can be found here.

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July 7, 2023: DOE spent $168M on bell and alarm system, Nine Years Later more than half of schools still don’t have it 

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