For immediate release:
Honolulu, Hawai‘i— A tentative settlement was reached yesterday between Kamehameha Schools and 32 plaintiffs which will pay $80M to the survivors of sexual abuse by Dr. Robert Browne, who was Chief of Psychiatry and employed by Saint Francis Medical Center (SFMC) decades ago.
“What is most important today is that healing can begin for our ‘ohana – for each survivor, for our organization and for our community,” said chairman of the board of trustees for Kamehameha Schools, Micah Kāne.
The settlement also establishes a special fund, called Hoʻopakele, which will provide for the medical, counseling, and psychiatric services for all current and former students who are survivors of sexual and physical abuse while at Kamehameha Schools.
The settlement – which is subject to Hawai‘i Probate Court approval – will resolve the survivors’ claims against Kamehameha Schools. Because SFMC refused to acknowledge its obligations as Dr. Browne’s employer for 25 years, Kamehameha will pursue all possible remedies against SFMC and its insurers, with the cooperation of the survivors. That recovery, together with monies contributed by KS’s own insurers, will reduce the total cost of the settlement to KS.
“We understand that our responsibility as a school is to do what is pono for our community and to protect those in our care,” said Jack Wong, Kamehameha Schools CEO. “More than just a settlement for these men, today’s resolution is about our commitment to provide support to their fellow students who could not or did not come forward - and the keiki of future generations - through Ho‘opakele, the fund we are establishing for survivors.”
This settlement does not include two plaintiffs who are each represented by separate legal counsel; these are two separate cases that remain pending. KS will continue to seek reasonable and fair settlements of those cases.
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