Officially organized on November 4, 2004 as Hawaii Injured Workers Alliance when over 50 concerned citizens of the state met, drafted and approved a charter. The now Hawai'i Injured Workers Association (HIWA) was formed on the example of parallel organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Like its many sister organizations, HIWA was formed to give voice to the many people and groups who feel they and the injured workers they support are being abused and victimized by a growing political agenda that has lost concern and compassion for the real victims of industrial injury, the workers.
In 2001, William Kealoha fell from a drydock. He suffered multiple injuries. But his workers' compensation claim was denied. He's been trying to get it for 12 years.
"The insurance company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to deny William benefits," attorney Jay Friedheim said.
In 2003, a depressed Kealoha attempted suicide. He survived, but the shotgun blast severely disfigured the left side of his face.
"I'm going to be a better man," Kealoha said.
Now, a judge has ordered Kealoha's former employer and their insurance carrier to pay him tens of thousands of dollars in workers comp benefits with interest, dating back to 2003.Read more...