UPDATE: Lawmakers change language in law that protects Hawaii Lifeguards from lawsuits; immunity now removed
On Thursday, State lawmakers met to discuss bill SB562, which granted immunity to Hawaii’s lifeguards from lawsuits. For weeks prior, lifeguards and supporters took to social media and other news channels to voice their desires to see the bill renewed. Thursday afternoon, with supporters rallying near Ala Moana, state lawmakers changed the language in the bill to remove such immunity.
“We can’t thank everyone in the local and global community enough for standing behind Hawaii Lifeguards,” read a statement from the North Shore Lifeguard Association. “We fell short of reinstating the limited liability. However, the state’s Attorney General will be required to defend any lawsuit brought against the county based on any type of negligence, wrongful act, or omission. This will cost the tax payers money spent on defend lawsuits rather then on new equipment, more towers or hiring more guards to keep you safe. Senator Kalani English said last night he will work to get the liability back next year. While it’s a huge disappointment, at last nights rally we were brought together which truly shows our passion for our job and we are committed to continue to watch over our residents and visitors alike. Mahalo again for all the support!” #protecthawaiilifeguards