IPI asks court to dismiss Pacific Rim lawsuit because no mediation has taken place

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IMPERIAL Pacific International has asked the federal court to dismiss the breach of contract lawsuit filed by Pacific Rim Land Development because no mediation has taken place.

“As required under their contract, before taking the case to court, any dispute between PacRim and IPI was supposed to go through mediation first,” said attorney Joseph E. Horey who represents IPI.

He said the District Court for the NMI should dismiss the lawsuit until such time the parties have attempted to resolve the dispute through mediation.

Horey said the contract requires that before any kind of “binding dispute resolution” over any “controversy or claim arising out of or relating to” the contract can take place, the parties must first try to resolve the dispute between them by negotiation, and if negotiation is unsuccessful, by mediation.

In his motion to dismiss, Horey stated that Pacific Rim failed to state that mediation took place prior to the onset of litigation, or indeed that it ever took place at all.

“At the very least, it should be stayed until mediation has taken place,” Horey added, referring to the lawsuit.

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 Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Dec. 3, 2019.

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

According to Pacific Rim’s lawsuit, IPI refused to pay for services in the amount of $5.65 million after the plaintiff substantially completed or completed the agreed-upon construction work for the IPI casino-resort project on Sept. 30, 2018.

Pacific Rim also filed an application for a mechanic’s lien on both the IPI hotel-casino project and 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 improve the property.

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

Keith Stewart, Pacific Rim president, in a previous declaration filed in court stated that they tried to mediate the dispute and set up mediation.

But “IPI never proposed a date for the mediation,” he added.

In response to the lawsuit, IPI said Pacific Rim intentionally overstated the costs it incurred in the construction of IPI’s hotel/casino project in Garapan.

Moreover, Pacific Rim fraudulently obtained from IPI a promissory note, which is therefore unenforceable, IPI added.

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