IPI promised to pay in full, says Pacific Rim owner

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KEITH J. Stewart, Pacific Rim Land Development manager and owner, told the federal court that Imperial Pacific International had committed to pay his company in full.

IPI promised to pay Pacific Rim once it received $100 million from a Japanese funding group, he added in a declaration filed last week to support the reply of Pacific Rim to the IPI opposition to the second amended application for a mechanic’s lien filed by the contractor.

Stewart did not identify the name of the Japanese firm.

But he said the second drawdown of funds from the Japanese group was supposed to be remitted in June, July, and August.

Pacific Rim, through attorney Colin Thompson filed a second amended complaint against IPI, alleging breach of contract and breach of promissory note after the original lawsuit was dismissed by District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Dec. 3, 2019.

After a hearing on Pacific Rim’s second amended application for mechanic’s lien on Thursday, Judge Manglona continued the hearing for Feb. 11, 2020 at 9 a.m.

Pacific Rim sued IPI for breach of contract for allegedly refusing to pay for services in the amount of $5.65 million. Pacific Rim said it had substantially completed or completed the agreed-upon construction work for IPI’s casino-resort project on Sept. 30, 2018.

Pacific Rim also filed an application for a mechanic’s lien on IPI’s hotel-casino project and on the land where it sits.

A mechanic’s lien refers to a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improved the property.

Judge Manglona has consolidated the contractor’s lawsuit and its application for a mechanic’s lien.

In his declaration, Stewart said IPI told him “many, many times that it did not have the funds to pay at that particular time but would ultimately pay the full amount due.”

Stewart said IPI asked Pacific Rim to be patient and to work with the casino investor, which he said they did until they became exhausted from the broken promises to pay and filed a lawsuit.

Stewart said he met with IPI again on Oct. 25 after it stopped making payments on the promissory note.

But Stewart said IPI has not offered any payment to resolve the dispute.

Stewart said they also tried to set up mediation, but “IPI has never proposed a date for” it.

Pacific Rim and IPI entered into a construction contract in February 2018.

Stewart said Pacific Rim submitted monthly invoices to IPI for the labor and materials provided to the Imperial Pacific Resort construction project.

He said IPI hired a third-party auditor company, Bluestone Management, to review the invoices.

Stewart said IPI representative Zhou Jing, who was provided with full authority to bind IPI with respect to the work and the construction contract for the duration of their agreement, reviewed the invoices through August 2018.

Stewart said IPI paid the first few invoices but as time went on, IPI slowed payments and then stopped altogether.

On Sept. 21, 2018, IPI and Pacific Rim finalized negotiations about the amounts due under the construction contract and signed a promissory note.

Stewart said in November 2018, when IPI failed to make full payment on the note, IPI told him that the payment would simply be a little late.

Stewart said from November 2018 through the time the lawsuit was filed, Pacific Rim did everything it could to work with IPI.

He said IPI repeatedly indicated that payments would be made, but only a few partial payments were processed.

“IPI proposed revised payment plans and committed to making payments, but never met their obligations,” Stewart added.

IPI, represented by attorney David G. Banes, opposed Pacific Rim’s second application for mechanic’s lien, saying that Pacific Rim intentionally overstated the costs it incurred in the construction of IPI’s hotel/casino project in Garapan.

Banes also alleged that Pacific Rim fraudulently obtained from IPI a promissory note which is therefore unenforceable, he added.


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