Lawsuit over NY teen’s death on kayak tour settled
HONOLULU — A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a New York teenager swept out to sea during a Hawaii hiking and kayaking tour has been settled.
Michael Madoff, the father of 15-year-old Tyler Madoff, said Tuesday he hopes tours will be run more carefully in the future.
“We’re just hoping that other families don’t have to go through this. That was really the main thrust of this lawsuit. We don’t really care about the money,” said Madoff, of White Plains, N.Y.
Terms of the settlement reached Monday with Bold Earth Teen Adventures and Hawaii Pack and Paddle were sealed.
Tyler was swept off the west coast of the Big Island.
His family filed a lawsuit in Honolulu claiming tour guides were negligent for leading teenagers to a dangerous area. They were hiking near the Captain Cook monument at Kealakekua Bay, where they had kayaked, when they stopped to rest at a tide pool and large waves washed Madoff away.
The teens were led to an area that’s out of a state-permitted area despite dangerous surf warnings, according to the lawsuit.
The boy’s body wasn’t recovered.
Marianne Madoff said her family “entrusted our child to be looked after by people who said they would look after him.”
“Our entire family is forever broken. There’s nothing worse than the loss of a child. I miss my boy. I miss my child,” she said.
Attorneys for the Bold Earth Teen Adventures and Hawaii Pack and Paddle didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.
Lawyers for the family had argued in court that Bold Earth Teen Adventures, which is based in Colorado, didn’t perform a proper background check on the trip’s leader, which would have found three marijuana-related convictions. She said the leader was also kicked out of a bar on the Big Island while there for a previous trip for the company in 2011.
The attorneys told the court the tour took too many people and stayed too long in the state park where Tyler was swept out to sea, and didn’t know about warnings of high surf.