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USA Fanter seeks summary judgment in defamation lawsuit against IPI

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USA Fanter Corp. Ltd., in a separate lawsuit, has accused Imperial Pacific International of making libelous statements in a press release it transmitted to two local newspapers.


A former construction contractor of IPI, USA Fanter is asking the District Court for the NMI to find IPI liable for defamation and to award the plaintiff damages.
Through attorney Samuel I. Mok, USA Fanter on Tuesday asked the court to issue an order ruling in its favor. He said IPI has failed to file an answer or otherwise appear in this case within the time required. Mok noted that 21 days had passed since IPI was served with the summons and complaint. He asked the court for an entry of default against IPI and to grant USA Fanter’s request for damages and other relief.
According to the 17-page lawsuit filed on Feb. 24, 2020, the press release issued by IPI was in reference to the construction work performed by USA Fanter with respect to the VIP wing and exterior work at IPIs hotel-casino project in Garapan, and was quoted extensively by Marianas Variety and Saipan Tribune.
“Specifically, IPI stated that USA Fanter purportedly lied about the actual construction work performed, issued false reports, forged project quantity numbers, forged a payment, fabricated units of material used, fabricated prices and double-billed for work performed,” the lawsuit stated. “IPI's statements were false and defamatory and USA Fanter' business reputation was adversely affected as a result,” the lawsuit added.
USA Fanter wants IPI to make a public retraction of the alleged defamatory statements but thus far IPI declined to do so, the lawsuit stated.
According to the lawsuit, it was only after USA Fanter complained to the Commonwealth Casino Commission that IPI “suddenly accused USA Fanter of disreputable and illegal business practices with respect to the work it performed for the project.”
USA Fanter also sued IPI for allegedly refusing to pay the $2.089 million it owed the plaintiff for work completed under their construction contract.

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