Claims paid out by state involve injuries, damage, and bizarre incidents

Local News

When people file a claim with the state and get money, taxpayers foot the bill.

So what kinds of incidents have led to these claims, and exactly how much are people getting?

The state Department of Accounting and General Services’ annual small claims report shows the state paid $179,148.77 to resolve 174 claims during the last fiscal year.

Small claims amount to $10,000 or less.

Many of them involved damage caused by rocks launched by weed whackers and potholes.

The highest claim: $10,000 to a man who was injured when he disembarked from a catamaran.

The second highest: $9,587.36 after a student tripped and fell over a tree root at an elementary school.

There are also some bizarre things we all ended up paying for.

A woman got $545 after her cat swallowed a piece of fabric at the Animal Quarantine facility.

A woman’s visit to the library cost taxpayers $2,000 when she got hurt from a metal security strip that was in a book at the Manoa Public Library.

Prisoners also make up a good chunk of payouts.

An inmate at Oahu Community Correctional Center who fell off the top bunk and hit a chair in 2013 was paid $1,500.

Another inmate who slipped and fell in 2006 received $4,835.68.

And an inmate at Maui Community Correctional Center received $6,000 after he alleged he was starved for a period of time.

The state doesn’t give money to everyone who files a claim. Three hundred thirty cases were denied or closed without payment.

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