Zuckerberg company embroiled in wrongful death lawsuit by Joan R. Price | Posted on August 19, 2022August 23, 2022 LIHU’E – Rodney Medeiros was working 12 hours as a security guard at the Kaua’i ranch owned by Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan when he died of a heart attack three years ago. Now, surviving family members have filed a lawsuit against Ko’olau Ranch real estate companies, claiming negligence resulted in Medeiros’ death. According to the complaint, Mederios, 70, worked part-time for contract security company Spaca LLC. On August 4, 2019, he was assigned to guard a remote post on Pila’a Beach, while Zuckerberg and Chan toured the island. His job was to flag any passing beach goers. Usually, a security cart picked up Mederios at his post, but due to rainy conditions that day, the cart could not reach his remote location. When his shift ended around 6 p.m., Mederios had to take a steep, muddy access trail. Several minutes after beginning to ascend the trail, another guard discovered Mederios leaning against a tree, complaining of chest pain. Doctors transported him about 20 miles to Wilcox Medical Center in Lihu’e, where he died early the next morning. Queen’s Medical Center cardiologist John Cogan MD independently reviewed Medeiros’ medical information. In a report provided to The Garden Island, he said that while Medeiros had “multiple risk factors for the development of the disease”, “climbing the hill as part of the work completion was a significant factor in the rush of the acute event”. Lawyers for the family said the owners of the property, Pila’a Land LLC and Pila’a International LLC, and security firm Limitless Specialty Services Associates LLC, had a duty to do more to allow Medeiros to return to safely from his post. According to attorney Michael Stern, who filed the lawsuit for the family with a team of attorneys, a small investment in wheel guards for the cart would have enabled him to travel the trail to retrieve Medeiros. “They have a duty to get these people on the ride safely, and they breached that by not putting the proper safeguards on the wheels,” Stern said. A spokesperson for the Zuckerberg family highlighted the prompt treatment Medeiros received from doctors on site. “Ko’olau Ranch extends its deepest condolences to the family of Rodney Medeiros for their tragic loss,” spokesman Ben Labolt said. “All Ko’olau Ranch vehicles are professionally maintained on an ongoing basis,” LaBolt said. “In addition, there is a training program that all drivers must complete to operate vehicles at the ranch.” The lawsuit was filed by family members Richard Medeiros, Leila Kuhaulua and Ziba Medeiros. The family then received a check for $7,500 from the Zuckerberg family. Mederios’ family were not informed until several hours after his death and were not informed of the details of the situation until a few days later. In a recording provided to The Garden Island taken days after the incident, a Limitless security official describes the circumstances surrounding the incident. On the tape, family members express their frustration at how long it took them to be informed. “I can completely understand. I was like, why can’t they just tell them,” the manager said in the recording. The manager says that they had already faced carts unable to travel in the rain on several occasions. The lawsuit, filed last year, has slowly progressed through the courts as lawyers struggle to serve the papers due to the convoluted ownership of the land by various limited liability companies linked to Zuckerberg. “It’s a lot harder than usual,” Stern said. “And I’ve been doing this for 35 years in four states.” Lawyers for Pila’a Land LLC, one of the companies named in the lawsuit, released a response to the lawsuit on August 15, in which they dispute numerous elements of the lawsuit and ask that it be dismissed.