After having their $3.87 million jury verdict set aside, Jim and Nancy Bevils recently agreed to a $1.2 million settlement with two insurance companies for the Ke Nani Kai Condominium Association.
In March of 2012, the Bevils proved in an eight-day jury trial that they had been the victims of harassment and intimidation by the association’s board of directors, its employees and agents. The condo board, along with the resident manager Darrel Borling, were found to be engaged in a variety of illegal acts including racketeering, civil conspiracy, gross negligence, malicious prosecution, breach of contract, and both negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Click on this link to read a full account of the charges.)
The verdict was overturned by Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo. Because the condo board was not included as a defendant, the verdict was ruled defective by Loo and a new trial was set for July.
The verdict — the largest ever issued in a legal action against a condominium association — included $500,000 in general damages and more than $3 million in punitive damages. This money was to be paid by the board of directors and condo association, as well as by three members of the board individually, Borling and the handyman Borling hired, Frank Maurizio.
In a phone interview with The Maui News yesterday, Terry Revere, attorney for the Bevils, said that the settlement also called for members of the old board to be removed, for Borling to quit and for Maurizio to be banned from the condominium for life, although he may reapply for his job in five years.
Jody Canady, a resident of Ke Nani Kai who was subpoenaed to testify in the trial, said she was surprised by the settlement. “I don’t know what to think,” said Canady. “I don’t know what happened. We were told that all was covered by insurance, punitive damages and everything.”
“I’m quite surprised by this,” said Canady, “they spent over $1 million in legal fees.” When Canady spoke to Nancy Bevins about the settlement, Bevins told her that she couldn’t discuss it.
Both Jody and husband Darryl Canady said they have never been reimbursed for their travel expenses to Maui to testify in the trial.
Have the conditions at Ke Nani Kai gotten better? “I can’t say the board has improved other than getting rid of Frank and putting a new manager in place,” said Jody Canady.
“It’s a different board doing the same damn thing,” added Jody Canady. She claims that the new board still “micromanages” and holds illegal executive sessions to discuss problems that do not involve legal issues or personnel matters.