A judge has approved a $1.8 million class action settlement between Hilton Corp. and guests who stayed in a mold-infested Waikiki hotel tower, lawyers for the plaintiffs said.
Experts said the mold was a variety that can trigger asthma and also irritate the eyes, nose and throat, but no serious health problems were reported.
Hilton denied liability but agreed to the settlement, said a statement from the law firm of Davis, Levin, Livingston and Grande. Calls seeking comment from Hilton representatives at corporate headquarters in Beverly Hills, Calif., were not returned.
Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Sabrina McKenna gave preliminary approval to the agreement Friday, the lawyers said.
Mold overtook the 453-room Kalia Tower in the Hilton Hawaiian Village complex and forced its closure in 2002, about a year after the $95 million building opened.
The tab for cleanup was more than five times the original $10 million estimate. The tower reopened in September 2003. Hilton sued 18 companies and individuals, saying design and construction defects produced excessive humidity that encouraged the mold to grow.
About 2,900 people who stayed at the building during June 14-July 23, 2002, will be eligible for $50 in cash or $150 worth of travel coupons for each night they spent there, said Price, Okamoto, Himeno and Lum, the other law firm involved in the lawsuit.