Pantastico v. Dep't of Educ.

Decision Date06 August 2019
Docket NumberCIVIL NO. 18-00065 JAO-WRP
Citation406 F.Supp.3d 865
Parties Chardonnay PANTASTICO, Plaintiff, v. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, State of Hawai‘i; et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Hawaii

Clarisse M. Kobashigawa, Terrance M. Revere Revere & Associates, LLLC, Kailua, HI, Myles S. Breiner, Law Offices of Myles S. Breiner, Honolulu, HI, for Plaintiffs.

John M. Cregor, Jr., John H. Price, Office of the Attorney General-State of Hawaii, Denise M. Hevicon, Honolulu, HI, for Defendants.


Jill A. Otake, United States District Judge

This case concerns the alleged sexual harassment of Plaintiff by her softball coach at James P. Campbell High School ("Campbell") and the school's alleged failure to prevent it. Plaintiff also asserts that Campbell's female athletic facilities were not equal to the male athletic facilities in violation of Title IX. Plaintiff brings her claims against two defendants in their individual capacities, Kevin Nagamine and Michael Hermosura, (the "Individual Defendants"); the State of Hawai‘i Department of Education; and certain individuals in their official capacities (collectively the "State Defendants").2 Before the Court are Nagamine's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Hermosura's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and the State Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 39, 43, 44.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the State Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART Defendant Nagamine's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and GRANTS Defendant Hermosura's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.

A. Facts

The following facts are undisputed. Plaintiff entered Campbell in 2012 and graduated in 2016. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 38, 39. She was a standout softball player at Campbell, playing for both the junior varsity and varsity teams her freshman year and the varsity team until she graduated. Id. ¶¶ 41, 42, 45; ECF No. 52-2 ¶ 17. Defendant Kevin Nagamine was the head coach of the junior varsity team and was an assistant coach of the varsity team. ECF No. 1 ¶ 45. Defendant Hermosura was the head varsity softball coach. ECF No. 52-3 ¶¶ 12, 14.

The Complaint alleges that during her time at Campbell, Nagamine gave Plaintiff special attention by buying her gifts and snacks, giving her rides to practice, and befriending her. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 47–57. Nagamine engaged in conversations with her about her menstrual cycles and birth control methods and his own deteriorating marital sex life. Id. ¶¶ 54, 56. Then, when Plaintiff turned eighteen years old but was still a student at Campbell, the two engaged in a sexual relationship. ECF No. 1 ¶ 59. Defendant Nagamine graduated from high school roughly twenty years before Plaintiff. See ECF No. 58 at 4.

B. Plaintiff's Declarations

In opposition to the State Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff submitted her own declaration and a declaration of one of her teammates at Campbell, Kyra Hoohuli. In her declaration, Plaintiff alleges that Nagamine often showed her and other teammates photos of naked women on his phone, complained about his relationship with his wife, and asked Plaintiff about who she was dating and suggested she date certain people. ECF No. 52-2 ¶¶ 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 29, 30, 31. Hoohuli's declaration states that Nagamine showed the softball players pictures of porn stars and asked them which one they would rather have sex with; all of the softball coaches constantly made sexual jokes and openly discussed which former softball players they would most like to have sex with; and coach Hermosura told the players they were getting fat and that they needed to lose weight or they wouldn't "get any guys." ECF No. 52-3 ¶¶ 25–30.

According to Plaintiff's declaration, Nagamine's harassment of Plaintiff increased significantly during her senior year, when Nagamine began to openly tell Plaintiff that he could "treat her better" than the person she was dating and that he would "show her how it was supposed to be done." Id. ¶ 32. For Plaintiff's eighteenth birthday in February of 2016, Nagamine allegedly gave her a gift bag of sports bras, athletic wear, snacks, and balloons. Id. ¶ 35. Shortly after that, the softball team traveled to Maui for a tournament. Id. ¶ 36. One night during the trip, Plaintiff and other female players were in the coaches' hotel room when Nagamine allegedly offered her a sip of alcohol and told her that if she was not comfortable sleeping there, she could sleep in his room with his daughter. Id. ¶¶ 38–39. When she said she was fine, he insisted and said that he would carry her to his room if he had to. Id. Plaintiff's declaration does not indicate what else, if anything, happened that night. After the trip, Nagamine began sending Plaintiff approximately ten to fifteen text messages a day, explicitly stating he wanted to be with her. Id. ¶ 41. He sent Plaintiff messages such as "I want to be with you," and "you're all I think about." Id.

Soon after the trip, Nagamine picked up Plaintiff for practice but instead drove her to a nearby shopping center. He then told her that he planned to leave his wife for her. Id. ¶ 42. Plaintiff told him that was not a good idea, but she also felt uncomfortable disagreeing with him and did not want to do anything to upset him because he was her coach. Plaintiff still had to play her senior year under him, which she believed was critical to her college softball recruitment. Id. ¶¶ 43–44. Nagamine made Plaintiff promise not to tell anyone about their potential relationship, and then forced Plaintiff to kiss him before taking her to practice. Id. ¶ 46.

After that, Nagamine and Plaintiff engaged in a sexual relationship that Plaintiff felt pressured into continuing. Id. ¶¶ 43, 44, 67. While Plaintiff was still a senior in high school, Nagamine and Plaintiff had sex in the back of his truck before practices, and sometimes during school hours. Id. ¶¶ 50–52. After graduating from Campbell, Plaintiff began playing softball at the University of Hawai‘i. ECF No. 52-2 ¶¶ 58, 71. Plaintiff and Nagamine continued their sexual relationship during Plaintiff's freshman year in college. ECF No. 52-2 ¶¶ 58–60. Then, when Nagamine's wife discovered the relationship in the fall of 2016, she informed Plaintiff's parents that Plaintiff and Nagamine were having sex. When Plaintiff's father found out, he brutally assaulted her. Id. ¶¶ 64–67. After the assault Plaintiff began suffering from depression and attempted suicide. Id. ¶¶ 68–70. She no longer enjoys softball as much as she used to and remains emotionally distraught. Id. ¶¶ 71–74.

Before this lawsuit, Plaintiff had not informed the school about the inappropriate comments Nagamine made or the nude photos he showed the players. Nor did Plaintiff inform the school about Nagamine's pursuit of Plaintiff or their sexual relationship.3 Plaintiff did, however, inform one of the assistant coaches about her sexual relationship with Nagamine: toward the end of her senior year, Plaintiff and Nagamine were having sex at his house when his wife came home, and Plaintiff ran from the house. Id. ¶¶ 52–54. She called assistant coach Ryan Palipti for a ride home and told him what happened. Id. ¶¶ 52–54.

Plaintiff's Complaint also alleges that the State Defendants were aware that Nagamine had previously had a sexual relationship with an underaged softball player at Campbell while he was a coach, but still re-hired him back to the softball program. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 67–68, 74; ECF No. 51 ¶ 6. Hoohuli states in her declaration that "it was well known that Coach Kevin [Nagamine] was let go from the Campbell girls' softball program [in or around 1997] because he was fooling around with an underage softball player and student at Campbell High." ECF No. 52-3 ¶ 17. It is undisputed that: (1) at the time, Nagamine was a recent graduate of Campbell; (2) Nagamine married this player; and (3) Nagamine and this player are still married. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 61–65.

C. Procedural History

Plaintiff filed her Complaint against Nagamine, Hermosura, and the State Defendants on February 16, 2018. ECF No. 1. She asserts the following claims against all Defendants: Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count 1); Violations of Title IX for both sexual harassment and unequal athletic treatment (Count 2); Negligence (Count 3); Negligent Hiring, Training and Supervision (Count 4); Battery (Count 5); Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (Count 6); Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (Count 7); Punitive Damages (Count 8).


The State Defendants move for summary judgment on all Plaintiffs' claims. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the State Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff's federal claims (Counts 1 and 2) and DISMISSES Plaintiff's state law claims (Counts 3–8) WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of jurisdiction.

A. Standard of Review

Summary judgment is proper when there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) mandates summary judgment "against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986) ; see also Broussard v. Univ. of Cal. at Berkeley , 192 F.3d 1252, 1258 (9th Cir. 1999).

"A party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion and of identifying those portions of the pleadings and discovery responses that demonstrate the absence of a genuine...

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