State briefs for July 22

Jury sides with couple in discrimination lawsuit

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A jury sided with a Maui couple in a $1.9 million disability discrimination lawsuit against their condo association, which fined them thousands of dollars for uncarpeted floors and attempted to sell their unit in foreclosure.

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The Villas at Kenolio Association of Apartment Owners fined the couple $200 a day over a two-year period for floors that Greg White said help him see where he is going, said Eric Ferrer, the lawyer who represented White and his wife Michele.

“It was totally egregious,” he said Wednesday. “It was retaliation.”

The wooden floors in the couple’s unit violated the community’s rules, which require second-floor units to have carpeting to prevent noise from traveling down to units underneath, the condo board said.

The floors help White navigate through the home, the couple said. He is blind in his left eye and visually impaired in his right eye.

The floor’s dark color and the sound it makes when White steps help him know where he is walking, Ferrer said.

The couple explained that to the board, but the board denied their request for an exception.

Ferrer cited an email by Jason Strahn, a former member of the condo board, who argued that White’s vision must “not be that terrible,” since he still walks his dogs, despite the fact that White submitted medical records describing his condition.

The case went to trial in 2nd Circuit Court on July 2.

The jury concluded that White had a disability, and that the couple had asked for a reasonable accommodation from the association.

“We were vindicated 100 percent. It’s a sense of relief that you almost have to pinch yourself that it’s really over,” White said.

The board declined to comment.

The association’s attorney could not immediately be reached.

Navy sailor killed at Pearl Harbor buried in California

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — More than 76 years after he was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Navy sailor has been laid to rest in Southern California.

Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class George Harvey Gibson was buried with full military honors Saturday at Inglewood Park Cemetery near Los Angeles.

The Kansas native was assigned to the USS Oklahoma when the ship was attacked in Hawaii by Japanese aircraft on December 7, 1941. The 20-year-old was among 429 crewmen killed but his body was classified as non-recoverable.

The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced in February that Gibson’s body had been finally accounted for thanks to advances in DNA testing.

Man not facing more prison time for flight disturbance

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The lawyer for a man who caused a flight disturbance says his client will likely be returning to South Korea since he is not facing additional prison time.

Pacific Daily News reported Friday that South Korean Dentist Kwon Woo Sung was detained for 57 days for assaulting flight crew aboard a Korean Air flight headed for Guam in 2016.

Court documents say Kwon yelled at staff and dragged a flight attendant through an aisle.

In Guam, Kwon pleaded guilty to interference with flight crew members and attendants.

He was sentenced twice before, but appealed and won.

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Federal Public Defender John Gorman says Kwon was in home detention for over two years in Guam while his case was being resolved.

He says Kwon lost his dental practice during that time.

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