Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 1316

       H.D. 2




Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fifth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2009

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred H.B. No. 1316, H.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to abolish joint and several liability for design professionals and public utilities in tort claims relating to the design and maintenance of public highways, except where the design professional or public utility's degree of negligence is twenty-five per cent or greater. 


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from American Public Works Association, American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii, American Society of Civil Engineers, Coalition of Hawaii Engineering and Architectural Professionals, Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaiian Telcom, Arcadia Architecture, Belt Collins Hawaii, Bills Engineering, Brown and Caldwell, Engineering Solutions, Finance Insurance, Ltd., Kelso Architects, Shigemura, Lau, Sakanashi, Higuchi and Associates, Inc., Fukunaga & Associates, The Limtiaco Consulting Group, Kai Hawaii, Sarwar Structural Engineering, Hawaii Pacific Engineers, and fifty private citizens.  Testimony in opposition to this measure was received from Hawaii Association for Justice.  Written testimony presented to your Committee may be reviewed on the Legislature's website.


     Your Committee finds that there is widespread support for this measure among engineering and structural design interests.  Your Committee further finds that this measure will not eliminate the liability of design professionals and public utilities, but will rather limit liability to the percentage of damages actually attributable to the professional or to the utility where those parties are found to be less than twenty-five per cent at fault.  If the design professional or public utility is more than twenty-five per cent at fault, joint and several liability will still apply. 


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1316, H.D. 2, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Government Operations.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection,