After their Son is Swept Out to Sea in Hawaii, Parents May Pursue Legal Action

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Tyler Madoff will certainly not be found alive and his body will most likely never be recovered. Coast Guard rescuers have called off their search of the Hawaiian coast after several days. The fifteen year old boy was visiting Hawaii from White Plains, New York for a kayaking tour. As the tour group hiked on the shore of the Big Island, the entire group was surprised by massive waves that swept over them with extraordinary force. Madoff and another teenage boy were washed out to sea. The other boy was recovered soon after and was taken to a nearby hospital. 

Madoff’s parents are considering a wrongful death suit against the tour companyBold Earth Teen Adventures. The company arranges teen adventure outings around the world. In popular tourist locations like Hawaii, California and New York, vacation and resort injuries are not uncommon but this one may become particularly complex because the company is blaming the local Hawaiian kayak tour company for the accident.

Bold Earth asserts that it was Hawaii Pack and Paddle’s negligence and poor judgment that lead to Madoff’s death since they were the leaders of the group at the time of the incident. Staff for both companies was present at the time that the wave struck, but Abbot Wallis, founder and executive director of Bold Earth, argues that “Hawaii Pack and Paddle is a professional outfitter, paid and permitted to be in full charge of the group” and that "The tour was not complete—a kayak paddle was required to return to our van and they specifically suggested a hike to that location. HPP's lead guide then led our kids and our staff into the area where the waves struck" (

Wallis claims that Hawaii Pack and Paddle are trying to shirk their responsibility in a tragic accident. Who specifically will be named if a lawsuit proceeds is unclear.The two Pack and Paddle guides who were there that day have made a video describing what happened from their perspective and how the accident was impossible to predict. Whether that video plays a part in this developing case remains to be seen ( No matter who is ultimately responsible, a young person’s life was tragically cut short at, ironically, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. 


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