Senior Editor

The Inertia

In a really sad story out of Hawaii, 17-year-old Kai Keuning, who was surfing at Tonggs in July of 2021 when he was struck by a canoe, is filing a lawsuit against the paddlers. One of the paddlers was Kali Watson, recently nominated to lead the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Christopher Flaherty and Christopher Kuaiwa were also named in the suit.

Tonggs is just outside the famous Outrigger Canoe Club, and the group was reportedly paddling one of the club’s four-man boats when the incident occurred. Kai was apparently struck in the skull, breaking bones in his head. He was underwater for some time when a friend rescued him and did CPR, and was further assisted by lifeguards who got him in an ambulance and to the hospital.

According to his attorney, Kai has been in and out of the hospital for months, and now has a blood clot in his brain that has to be monitored and is extremely dangerous. For their part, Watson says all the paddlers were devastated by the accident and very thankful that Kai is alive, and back in school.


“I never thought I would ever sue anyone, but now I understand why. Money damages can’t replace what I have lost, but they can help me to rebuild my life,” said Keuning in a news release.

Kai’s family says that his medical expenses are well into the $500,000 range at this time.


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