February 16, 2018
Aloha mai kākou,
A tentative settlement between Kamehameha Schools and the survivors of Dr. Browne’s abuse has been reached, which will soon bring closure to these legal proceedings. Our Trustees met yesterday to approve the mediators’ recommendation, and the majority of survivors have approved the settlement, as well.
The settlement includes a cash contribution as well as a commitment to establish a survivors’ fund.
The cash payment to plaintiffs totals $80 million, $65 million of which will be paid in 2018 and the balance of which will be paid over the next two years.
Kamehameha Schools has also established a special fund called Ho‘opakele, jointly named with the survivors, which will provide medical, counseling and psychiatric services for current, former or future students who have themselves experienced physical or sexual abuse while at Kamehameha Schools.
Ho‘opakele is administered through Mālama Ola, our centralized student safety center, and we will share more about this new initiative in the coming weeks.
Saint Francis Medical Center, the third party in the case, has chosen to ignore their responsibility as Dr. Browne’s employer during the 25 years of abuse, and they have not contributed to the settlement. We felt it was inappropriate to put our beneficiaries through any longer a process while we continued negotiating with Saint Francis’ board, so we chose to put forward Saint Francis’ portion now with full intention of pursuing our cross-claim against them and their insurers. The survivors and their attorneys have pledged their cooperation in our cross-claim against Saint Francis so that we may recover financially the portion of the settlement Kamehameha paid that is in fact Saint Francis’ responsibility.
Our kuleana as leaders at Kamehameha is to balance the needs and best interests of past, present and future generations. We invested great care and attention in our decisions so that our keiki and ‘ohana were considered in everything we did. We extend our deepest appreciation to all of you for voicing helpful perspective at community meetings, through phone calls, conversations and emails — heartfelt contributions which informed our resolution to do what is pono for all involved.
While our journey over the last few years has been a long and difficult one, we are a much stronger organization because of it. We will continue to fulfill our Princess’ promise to her people and serve our Lāhui for generations to come.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees