Insurers to Pay Hawaii Couple to Receive $1.2M Condo Settlement

December 30, 2013

A couple will receive nearly $1.2 million to settle their lawsuit against a Molokai condo association.

Jim and Nancy Bevill claimed they became targets for abuse after attempting to elect new board leaders for the Ke Nani Kai Condominium. Two insurance carriers for the association and directors will pay the couple $1.175 million, as part of the settlement approved earlier this month.

A jury previously awarded the homeowners nearly $4 million, as compensation for retaliation they claimed they faced for trying to remove the directors and an unlicensed contractor who has a criminal record but did work around the complex.

The verdict was believed to be the largest in the state involving a non-construction condo dispute. Three Ke Nani Kai directors, who served as volunteers, each were ordered to pay damages of $200,000 to $300,000. The lawsuit also drew attention because Hawaii has the largest concentration of condominiums of any state in the country and because condo representatives say governance and neighbor disputes have been increasing, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

But a judge later set aside the verdict and ordered a new trial.

Mark Bennett, attorney for the association and directors, said they are pleased the settlement is far less than what the jury decided. The settlement doesn’t include any admission of wrongdoing, Bennett said.

The Bevills still plan to go to trial against the handyman, their attorney, Terry Revere said. The handyman, Frank Maurizio, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The directors named in the lawsuit no longer serve on the board.

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