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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Parties reach settlement in Baldwin softball lawsuit

Advertiser staff

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by three members of the Baldwin High School girls' softball team who accused the state and Maui County of gender discrimination.

As part of the settlement, the state has agreed to build a new softball field on the Baldwin High School campus. The county agreed to continue making improvements to the field that the defending Maui Interscholastic League champions had been playing on.

Also, the state will pay $75,000 in attorneys fees to the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the law firm Alston Hunt Floyd and Ing, which field the lawsuit on behalf of players Trisha Nobriga, Tayler Shimizu, Julia Kinoshita, their parents, and coach Joe Duran.

The settlement was announced in U.S. District Judge David Ezra's courtroom this afternoon. The lawsuit alleged the girls' softball team was forced to practice at a substandard field while the boys' baseball team played at a "beautifully manicured" field at Iron Maehara Stadium.

The lawsuit accused the state and Maui County of violating the girls' rights under the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, also known as Title IX.