The state has tentatively agreed to pay $550,000 to settle a lawsuit by the estate of a Maui jail inmate who hung herself after suggesting to a corrections officer that she should be put on suicide watch.

No effort was made to get medical help for Daisy Kasitati, 26, or to put her on suicide watch, according to testimony submitted by the state Attorney General’s Office. Kasitati was found dead in her cell the afternoon of Oct. 12, 2017.

Lawmakers are being asked to fund the settlement in Kasitati’s death as part of a larger package of state settlements and judgments incorporated into Senate Bill 3041.

Daisy Kasitati, 26, hung herself in a  jail cell in 2017. Submitted

According to the justification for the settlement submitted by the Attorney General’s Office, Kasitati was the mother of four children all under the age of 5 at the time she died. She had a history of drug and alcohol abuse as well as depression, and had been in and out of jail for six years. She had attempted suicide at least once.

In the 12 to 14 hours before her death, “her cell mates asked an adult corrections officer on duty to get medical help for the decedent because she was depressed and they felt she needed help,” according to the written statement by the state Attorney General’s Office.

“A few hours before her death, the decedent told the adult corrections officer that she was feeling ‘low’ because of a family member’s recent death and suggested, in what was perceived to be a joking manner, that she be put on suicide watch,” according to the statement. “No action was taken to get her medical help or to put her on suicide watch.”

Kasitati’s cellmates left to attend a class, and sometime between a 2 p.m. roll call and 2:30 p.m., she blocked the window of her cell with paper and hanged herself with a bed sheet, according to the statement.

She had convictions for property crimes that included theft, forgery, burglary, fraudulent use of a credit card and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, and had been scheduled for release in 2022.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by a grant from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation.

Quality journalism takes time.

A story that takes fives minutes to read often takes days to report.
 
Quality journalism takes time and resources to produce, but with support from readers like you, Civil Beat can investigate issues and publish stories that are otherwise difficult to fund.
 
Become a donor and help support Civil Beat’s next investigation.

About the Author