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Federal court denies IPI motion to dismiss USA Fanter’s lawsuit

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DISTRICT Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Thursday denied Imperial Pacific International’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit of USA Fanter Corp.

At the same time, the judge granted IPI’s alternative motion to stay the case so that parties can mediate.

USA Fanter, a construction contractor, said it provided materials and labor for the landscaping contract at IPI’s hotel-casino complex, including construction of retaining walls, stairways, sidewalks as well as excavation and backfilling.

In its lawsuit, USA Fanter said it stopped work on the project because IPI refused to pay the amount it owes the plaintiff for work completed under the construction contract — $2.089 million.

USA Fanter is seeking a court order against IPI for real property interests to which a mechanic's lien is attached. USA Fanter said the property should be sold in accordance with law, and the proceeds of the sale be applied to the payments of the balance due upon the judgment.

For its part, IPI stated that USA Fanter failed to mediate the claims and therefore its lawsuit should be dismissed

In a previous order, Judge Manglona stated that USA Fanter has established by probable cause that IPI owes the plaintiff $2.089 million as the price agreed to be paid for the construction work performed by USA Fanter. The judge also attached a mechanic’s lien to IPI’s real property interest in Garapan — a lot measuring 1.567 hectares.

On Thursday, Judge Manglona stayed the case until May 14, 2020.

“During that time, the parties shall attempt in good faith to mediate a settlement,” she said.

USA Fanter is represented by attorney Colin Thompson while IPI is represented by attorney Joseph Horey.

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