MAUI, Hawaii, Aug. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Maui attorney Lance D. Collins in association with Hawai’i attorney Harrison L. Kiehm have filed suit against Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries on behalf of fire survivors whose homes and businesses were destroyed in the August 2023 blaze.
Lance D. Collins is a widely respected Maui-based public interest litigator and appellate advocate. Along with a Hawai’i law license, Dr. Collins holds a Ph.D from the University of Hawai’i and researches on West Maui history and culture. “My clients tend to be local working people who have been ignored,” said Collins. “This is not the first time big business has disregarded the safety and welfare of our community and left devastation in its wake. They must be held accountable — to make survivors whole and to ensure this never happens again.”
Harrison L. Kiehm has over twenty-five years of experience in the courtroom as an advocate for plaintiffs and, during his time as a public defender, for Hawai’i’s most vulnerable litigants. He is familiar with the legal system from the inside out, having worked within the Judiciary as well as the Hawai’i legislature before entering private practice. “The Lahaina Fire is an unspeakable tragedy,” said Kiehm. “I can’t give people back their homes, their loved ones, or their tokens of family history. But I can stand beside them and advocate for them, which is what I do best.”
Collins’ and Kiehm’s offices have united to form Mālama Law Group (MLG). Mālama Law Group represents the two offices’ joint effort to seek justice for those who lost their homes, community, businesses, and loved ones. Kristine Kalama Keala (formerly Meredith), managing partner of Danko Meredith, is lending to MLG her expertise in fire and mass tort litigation, as well as the resources of her firm’s preeminent fire litigation team.
Kristine Kalama Keala has been representing plaintiffs in wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, and property damage cases for over thirty years in California. In the last twenty years, Keala has won over $1 billion in cash compensation for survivors of utility fires. When Hawaiian Electric Company devastated the same island where her family has lived for centuries, Keala, whose ancestry is rooted in the Kukahiko family, knew she had to put her vast knowledge and extensive resources to use. “My favorite childhood memories are here. I’m heartbroken and angry for the people of Lahaina, and I have spent my career responding to scenarios very similar to this one, in terms of the magnitude of suffering and damage. We are perfectly equipped to do something good for Lahaina, something that will help the town heal. I can’t just sit on my hands and waste that resource.”
Collins, Kiehm, and Keala make a formidable fire litigation team. With their combined experience, this legal group knows well Maui’s courts, Hawai’i law, the losses and needs unique to the people of Lahaina, and what it takes to win against a profit-first corporation like Hawaiian Electric. With Keala’s firm Danko Meredith providing wildfire litigation expertise, these three are poised to prevail in court and bring home the justice that their clients deserve.
“To those grieving,” said Keala, “e hoʻomālielie i ko kākou kaumaha.”
This attorney advertising on behalf of Harrison L. Kiehm (6171) of the Law Office of Harrison L. Kiehm and Malama Law Group.
SOURCE Danko Meredith
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/danko-meredith-announces-its-managing-partner-kristine-keala-will-consult-on-lawsuit-filed-against-hawaiian-electric-in-lahaina-wildfire-301915456.html
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