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Lawyer: IPI had over $664M in listed assets in 2018

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IMPERIAL Pacific International had over $664 million listed assets in its financial statement in 2018, according to Aaron Halegua, one of the two attorneys of the seven construction workers who have alleged labor violations in their lawsuit against IPI and its former contractor and subcontractor, MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI).

Halegua is requesting the federal court to enter a default judgement against IPI for not complying with court sanctions and violating the previous discovery orders of District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona.

The lawyer said there is evidence that IPI owns significant assets, but IPI does not explain why these cannot be used to comply with the court orders.

For instance, Halegua said, IPI submitted court documents stating that it has $9 million in property leasehold interests, which it offered in another case.

“There is no explanation why IPI cannot obtain a mortgage or loan against these properties and sell them to obtain cash,” he added.

The asset sheet in the IPI financial statement indicated that it had “property and equipment valued at over $664 million at the end of 2018,” Halegua added.

“Again, no explanation why this cannot be used to satisfy IPI’s obligations, or why doing so is outside of its control,” the lawyer said.

For failing to adequately respond to a discovery request, IPI was ordered to show cause in writing why the court should not enter a default judgment against it. Judge Manglona scheduled a hearing for Friday, June 12, at 9 a.m.

Attorney Mike Dotts who represents IPI, has opposed an entry of default judgement.

Dotts said the failure to pay was unintentional and IPI is willing to pay but needs more time.

He said the errors and omission in discovery production are minimal, not material, and were unintentional.

Halegua said it is in the public interest to have an expeditious resolution of the litigation.

“Nine months after plaintiffs served their discovery requests, IPI has not produced a single email, WeChat message, WhatsApp message, or SMS message. Plaintiffs cannot start discussing the adequacy of production because there is still no production. Moreover, IPI has provided no timeline by which it promises to provide these items. At this rate, it could literally be years before the case is ready for trial. Most troublingly, however, is that with each passing week, IPI does not seem any closer to compliance, but instead is relitigating old issues, developing new excuses (or recycling old ones), and replacing inadequate productions with other inadequate productions. In other words, the case is moving backward, not forward,” Halegua said.

Halegua’s co-counsel is Bruce Berline.  The seven plaintiffs are Tianming Wang, Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu, and Duxin Yan.

 

 

 

 

 

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