Government Law

$15.4M in Hiking Deaths of Gibson Dunn Partner and Cousin May Be Hawaii's Biggest PI Settlement

Having already been found liable in the 2006 hiking accident deaths of a Gibson Dunn & Crutcher partner and her cousin, the state of Hawaii has agreed to pay a settlement of $15.4 million.

One lawyer in the case says it’s the highest personal injury settlement in state history, reports the Am Law Daily.

Elizabeth Warke Brem, who worked as a securities litigator in the Orange County office of the law firm, was hiking in the Waialua River State Park in Kauai not long before Christmas with her cousin Paula Ramirez when the two encountered a sign warning them not to proceed further along their trail, as it forked to the left. Obeying, they went down an unmarked trail to the right and plunged 300 feet to their deaths when they reached a steep cliff covered with vegetation, the article recounts.

Another hiker had fallen previously, but escaped death when he landed in a tree canopy 200 feet down.

The plaintiffs’ counsel argued that the sign had directed the women to their demise. The state said it had been intended only as a general warning about hazards on that one trail.

Related coverage:

KGTV (2006): “Encinitas Woman Dies In 300-Foot Fall”

Star Bulletin (2006): “Hikers killed by fall were cousins”

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