Asia Pacific Airlines sues California-based aviation ground handling equipment company

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FOR not delivering two cargo loaders, California-based Mercury GSE was sued by Asia Pacific Airlines in federal court on Thursday.

Asia Pacific Airlines, through attorney Steven Pixley, is alleging breach of contract, restitution, and conversion in the District Court for the NMI.

Asia Pacific Airlines is demanding a jury trial, for damages and the return of $144,000 that Asia Pacific Airlines paid for security deposit.

The complaint also asked the court to award the plaintiff pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, costs and other awards as permitted by law; and for such other and further relief the court deems just and proper.

The lawsuit stated that on or about June 25, 2018, Adam Ferguson, president of Asia Pacific, met with James Spiegel, a sales representative employed by Mercury GSE, and Bob Tavis, its chief operating officer in Torrance, California, to discuss the purchase and repair of two 2000 FMC Commander 15 Cargo loaders.

They also discussed the repair of a used Lantis Loader KL-206 and its shipment  from the Seattle airport to Mercury GSE’s Santa Fe Springs facility, the lawsuit added.

On July 24, 2018, James Spiegel sent an email to Adam Ferguson offering to sell two cargo loaders “fully serviced, repaired and painted” for $165,000 each,” the lawsuit stated.

On July 26, 2018, the lawsuit stated, James Spiegel sent an email to Ferguson wherein he represented that Mercury GSE would sell the two cargo loaders “refurbished and painted for $160,000 each.”

Furthermore, the lawsuit stated that Spiegel represented that “this work will start after the beginning of September once we have completed the move. We estimate the lead time of 8-10 weeks for the completion of both units. We are requiring a 45% deposit to start work on all orders.”

This email also discussed the cost of rebuilding the Lantis Loader KL-206, the lawsuit added.

In reasonable reliance upon the representations of Mercury GSE, Asia Pacific Airlines wired the sum of $158,028 from its Bank of Guam account to the Mercury GSE account  in Hawthorne, California on July 27, 2018, the lawsuit stated.

“The amount of $144,000 from the wire transfer was expressly identified as security deposit for the two cargo loaders. The remaining $14,028 was payment for shipping costs for the Lantis Loader KL-206,” it added.

On May 20, 2019, according to the lawsuit, Adam Ferguson spoke with the CEO of Mercury GSE regarding the status of the two cargo loaders.

Following this telephone conversation, Ferguson learned that no work had been done on the two cargo loaders and that upon information and belief the two cargo loaders had been sold to a third party, the lawsuit stated.

On May 22, 2019, Ferguson sent an email to Mercury GSE demanding the immediate return of the $144,000 deposit.

Since then, the lawsuit stated, the parties have attempted to resolve the matter; however, to date, Mercury GSE has failed to return the deposit, maintaining the legal position that no enforceable contract existed between the parties.

Asia Pacific Airlines is owned by Tan Holdings Corp.

Pixley said the lawsuit is under the jurisdiction of the federal court because the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 and Asia Pacific Airlines is actively engaged in business operations in the CNMI. Moreover, the two cargo loaders were intended to be used for loading aircraft in business activities in the CNMI as well as other locations in the Western Pacific Region, Pixley added.




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