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Judge orders Gold Mantis to produce financial records

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DISTRICT Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has granted the request of seven construction workers to order Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC to produce discovery materials in their lawsuit alleging labor and other violations.

Judge Manglona on Thursday directed Gold Mantis to obtain and produce financial records, tax records, and produce documents as well as electronically stored information or ESI.

The judge also granted the plaintiffs’ request for Gold Mantis to provide a sworn affidavit detailing its efforts.

The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys Aaron Halegua and Berline, want Gold Mantis to (i) obtain and produce all bank records, including checks, during the relevant period, (ii) obtain and produce all responsive financial records in the possession of its accountant(s), (iii) produce all documents related to a People’s Republic of China government inquiry into the labor dispute that occurred in Saipan, and (iv) produce all responsive ESI, including but not limited to email and WeChat messages.

The plaintiffs also requested for an award of reasonable attorney’s fees if their motion to compel discovery is granted.

The plaintiffs’ worked for MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and Gold Mantis, the former contractor and subcontractor of Saipan casino investor Imperial Pacific International LLC.

In the seven workers’ amended complaint, they included IPI as a  defendant and alleged forced labor, negligence, liability  for employees of subcontractors and violations of federal and CNMI anti-human trafficking laws.

The plaintiffs are Tianming Wang, Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu, and Duxin Yan.

They have asked the federal court to issue an order awarding them $3.86 million in compensatory damages and $7.72 million in punitive damages.

On Thursday, Judge Manglona directed Halegua to submit a petition for an award of reasonable attorney’s fees by Friday, Oct. 23.

Opposition from Gold Mantis, which is represented by attorney Tiberius Mocanu, is due on Oct. 30, the judge said.

The federal court previously cited IPI for failing to fully comply with various discovery requirements related to such matters as producing bank records, employee separation dates, and paper discovery.

Judge Manglona then issued a default judgment against IPI.

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