CNMI court approves stay agreement between IPI and construction workers

Seven construction workers sued IPI over allegations of labour violations.
Seven construction workers sued IPI over allegations of labour violations.

Chief Justice Ramona Manglona has approved a stay agreement between IPI and seven construction workers who are suing the casino operator for alleged labour violations and human trafficking.

Northern Mariana Islands.- Imperial Pacific International (IPI) has been informed that a stay agreement has been approved by Chief Justice Ramona Manglona after the casino operator and seven construction workers signed an agreement to stay enforcement action.

The seven workers had sued IPI for alleged labour violations and human trafficking. On May 26, 2021, Judge Manglona had issued a default judgment in favour of the workers, as well as post-judgment interest and attorney fees totalling $5.9m. IPI appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after its motion for reconsideration was rejected. 

IPI was granted an initial appeal bond of $1m on February 11 and paid the plaintiff’s legal fees to their counsel on February 9.

Manglona stated: “The court further affirms that by virtue of the…writ of execution, plaintiffs maintain a valid lien as to IPI’s personal property (other than IPI’s gaming equipment, which will be addressed by a separate order), that this lien shall remain in place until IPI has complied with all its obligations under the stay agreement, and that IPI shall not transfer, pledge, or otherwise encumber its personal property without the express written consent of plaintiffs or permission of this court.” 

The plaintiffs “shall stay enforcement of their default judgement in exchange for IPI and certain other parties securing a supersedeas [or appeal] bond in the amount of $6m on or before June 30, 2022, committing other collateral, and fulfilling other obligations set forth in the stay agreement.”

IPI has no respect for court rulings, USA Fanter says

USA Fanter Corp has accused Imperial Pacific International of having no respect for the federal district court’s rulings after the casino operator accused it of having overcharged for work.

USA Fanter sued IPI over unpaid work at its casino in the Northern Mariana Island. IPI paid USA Fanter US$300,000, leaving an unpaid balance of around $2m, which the court has ordered it to pay.

However, IPI requested a civil engineering firm conduct a third-party professional assessment. That assessment claimed that USA Fanter was demanding $2.7m work valued at $454,433.

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