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Update on October 13, 2011 Hearing

posted Oct 14, 2011, 2:46 PM by Vivien Akiyama   [ updated Oct 14, 2011, 2:53 PM ]
On October 13, Judge Virginia Crandall considered motions to decide how damages would be measured for the Waiting List Subclass.
 
Liability, Causation, and Fact of Damage Already Proven
 
Judge Crandall ruled that Plaintiffs have already won liability (that the State breached its trust obligations), causation (that the breach of trust caused injury), and the fact of damage (that the breach of trust caused class members to suffer monetary losses because of the delay in getting homesteads).
 
The State argued that Plaintiffs must reprove causation and the fact of damage and Judge Crandall rejected that position and agreed with Plaintiffs that liability, causation, and the fact of damage have already been proven.
 
Damages To Be Measured by Fair Market Rental Value or Out of Pocket Expenses
 
Judge Crandall also ruled that damages would be measured either by the fair market value of a comparable homestead lot or by the actual out of pocket expenses.  Judge Crandall stated that she would make a final decision in the future about which measure would be accepted.
 
Plaintiffs suggested that both measures of damages be adopted.
 
Six-Year Delay To Start Damages
 
Judge Crandall ruled that the normal lot development time for a residential homestead was six years based upon Judge Hifo’s prior ruling.  For purposes of calculating damages, the time will run six years from the date a beneficiary is placed on the waiting list.
 
Next Steps
 
Motions will be presented by the parties to determine how to deal with defenses raised by the Defendants, such as whether an offering letter sent to beneficiaries stops damages at that point in time.
 
Class Counsel and the State attorneys are meeting with Judge Crandall on Monday, October 17, 2011 and will decide on a schedule for the motions.
 
Class Counsel believe that we have made large and important steps in moving the case forward.  Judge Crandall did not decide in our favor on all issues, but we prevailed on the important issues. 
 
We will update this website as we have more information.
 
Please Attend Future Hearings
 
We would like to thank all the people who came to the court to support us.  It is very important that the judge know that you are all still interested and involved in the case.

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