Hawaii man suing the state after having heart attack following false missile alert

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(NBC) - A Hawaii man who suffered a heart attack during January's false missile scare is suing the state.

In the suit he says if emergency management workers hadn't waited so long to send out an "all clear" message he might have been ok.

A Hawaii emergency management agency employee mistakenly sent the missile alert to cellphones and broadcasters on January 13 triggering widespread panic.

Until the agency sent another message 38 minutes later notifying people it was a false alarm.

The state has acknowledged a number of significant missteps in the wake of the false missile scare, but has not commented on the new suit.

The suit alleges that the false missile alert and the state's failure to cancel it in a timely manner was a substantial factor in James Sean Shields' heart attack.

In the suit, Sheilds' doctor says he had never before had any heart conditions and the heart attack happened about 15 minutes after the false alert was sent out.

Shields is seeking an unspecified amount of "special and general" damages.