Hawaii Diminished Value is real, and is recoverable in Hawaii. lf you’ve been in a car accident in Hilo, Honolulu, Maui, or any other place in Hawaii and it wasn’t your fault, you are probably entitled to a diminished value award from the at fault insurance company. You may claim diminished value on Hawaii car accidents that happened up to 2 years prior.
The following cases are pertinent to the State of Hawaii and Diminished Value:
City Express v. Express Partners
Although this is not an automobile case, it serves as a foundation for determining negligence and the role of a professional negligent party in diminished value. Express Partners, in a joint venture with City Express, hired an architect to create a second-floor landing meant to support forklift traffic. The second floor cracked under duress, costing City Express time and money to repair and a loss of business due to a necessary evacuation.
In this case, the court defined the loss of value and the responsibility of negligent party in this way:
In a claim for professional negligence, an architect’s or engineer’s standard of care must be established by expert testimony, and failing such expert testimony a prima facie case of negligence has not been established….Since Express Partners has failed to elicit any such evidence, there is no issue of negligence by [Architects 2] to be decided by the jury.
…Even if “economic loss” damages were recoverable by Express Partners, Express Partners has not put on any evidence of the cost to correct upon which the jury could base any award of damages. Having failed to show any evidence of the cost to correct, Express Partners has also failed to produce any evidence from which the jury could determine that the cost to correct is grossly and unfairly disproportionate to the benefit to be achieved by correction. Without said determination, the measure of damages is not diminution of value… and there would be no basis upon which the jury could award as damages any diminution of value.
In order to establish diminished value in Hawaii, 1) expert testimony must be on record to show the initial value and degree of negligence and 2) the cost of the correction must be on record before diminished value can be awarded.