WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Daily Voice is leading into the New Year by counting down, in no particular order, the top 10 stories from 2012.
Tyler Madoff, 15, a Scarsdale High School junior, was presumed dead a few weeks after he was washed into the ocean July 4 during a hiking and kayaking trip in Hawaii.
The White Plains resident’s parents, Michael and Marianne Madoff, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the tour company, Bold Earth Teen Adventures, and its homeland guide Hawaii Pack and Paddle, which has since had its permit to operate tours in the area revoked.
The grieving parents said Aug. 22 that the lawsuit, which seeks punitive damages for negligence and infliction of emotional distress, isn't about money, but about holding the companies accountable so that no other family has to go through what they have.
Susan Karten, the attorney for the family, said, “The decision of the Madoff family to file this lawsuit was a very difficult one, and it was made only after they learned that their son didn’t die because of a rogue wave.”
Tyler Madoff was part of a group of 12 students on a guided tour on the Big Island. They were resting in the tide pool near Kealakekua Bay when a wave washed Madoff and another boy into the ocean below. Two Pack and Paddle tour guides, hired by Bold Earth to lead the hike, jumped in after them and recovered and resuscitated the second boy, who was from Miami.
A U.S. Coast Guard search was called off the night of July 5. Madoff has been missing since. The family held a memorial service July 26.
The tour guides led the group of 12 teens to an area where they weren’t scheduled, or allowed, to go, the lawsuit says. Deborah Ward, spokesperson for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, confirmed that the area where the tour guides took the group was “outside the authorized landing or trail area allowed by the permit.”
The Madoffs lawsuit was filed in Honolulu and is still pending.