OVER ALLEGED POOR PERFORMANCE

Imperial Pacific sues Skywalker Communications

Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, the Hong Kong-based mother company of Saipan casino owner Best Sunshine International, is suing Skywalker Communications Group LLC for its alleged inability to provide satisfactory work pertaining to their two contracts, including having key staff that were not sufficient in English communication design ideas, among other issues.

Imperial Pacific, through counsel Michael W. Dotts, is suing Skywalker Communications before the Superior Court for breach of contract.

Imperial Pacific asked the court to hold Skywalker Communications liable to pay the company damages in an amount to be proven at trial, plus attorney’s fees and court costs.

Imperial Pacific also requested the court to declare that its two contracts with Skywalker Communications have been terminated.

Asked for comment yesterday, Skywalker Communications counsel Robert T. Torres said he will be entering an appearance in this case and will be responding to the complaint in due course.

According to Dotts in the complaint, in June 2015, Imperial Pacific entered into a contract with Skywalker Communications referred to as the Special Groups Agreement (SGA).

Dotts said that in July 2015, Imperial Pacific entered into a second contract with defendant referred to as the Creative Design Agreement (CDA).

Under the SGA, Skywalker Communications was to conduct planning and implementation of “special groups” on Imperial Pacific’s behalf, such as retirees, education groups, and groups within the tourism industry.

SGA’s term was to be from July 1, 2015 to June 31, 2017.

Dotts said the work that defendant was to perform under the SGA was to include the creation, administration, and general management of the special groups.

In exchange for defendant’s performance under the SGA, Imperial Pacific was to pay $66,420 monthly to Skywalker Communications, plus cover certain costs of Skywalker Communications.

Dotts said that in October, November, and December 2015, Skywalker Communications was not performing as was required under the contract.

Imperial Pacific made a final payment on the SGA on Jan. 29, 2016.

On Feb. 5, 2016, Imperial Pacific gave defendant written notice of its dissatisfaction with its performance.

Dotts said Skywalker Communications did not come within compliance with the SGA within the 20 days provided after receiving the Feb. 5, 2016 notice.

Instead, Dotts said, Skywalker Communications wrongfully asserted it had complied.

Dotts said that on Feb. 26, 2016, plaintiffs delivered notice of termination on the SGA to Skywalker Communications.

Under the CDA, Skywalker Communications was to provide design work, including development of trademarks, logos, text in advertising materials, and images for use of promotions and advertising.

The term of the CDA was to be from July 1, 2015 to June 31, 2017.

Under the CDA, Skywalker Communications was to work with plaintiff to create design work that was satisfactory to plaintiff.

Dotts said the parties understood that such design work was very personal and that Imperial Pacific would have wide discretion to reject design work that did not satisfy the company.

In exchange for defendant’s performance under the CDA, Imperial Pacific was to pay $63,037.50 monthly to defendant, plus cover certain approved expenses.

Dotts said that in October, November, and December 2015, defendant was not performing as was required under the contract.

Dotts said Imperial Pacific repeatedly orally advised Skywalker Communications of the problems with its performance and defendant did not correct its performance.

Imperial Pacific made a final payment on the CDA on Jan. 29, 2016, for the month of December 2015.

On Feb. 5, 2016, Imperial Pacific gave Skywalker Communications notice of dissatisfaction with defendant’s performance of the designing work.

Dotts said Skywalker Communications did not come within compliance with the CDA within the 30 days’ notice period after receiving the Feb. 5, 2016 notice.

Instead, Dotts said, defendant blamed Imperial Pacific for defendant’s inability to provide satisfactory work.

On Feb. 26, 2016, Imperial Pacific delivered notice of termination of the CDA to defendant.

“By neglecting, failing, and refusing to perform as required under the SGA and CDA, defendant breached its contracts with plaintiff,” Dotts said.

On SGA, Dotts said Skywalker Communications failed to timely and fully form the special groups; failed to develop a plan for internal operation mechanism for effective management and development or organizational structures of the special groups; failed to clearly identify the project team; failed to put in place a step by step plan to identify key group members for inclusion in the special groups; and the cost charged for organizing the local events once some special groups were formed were significantly higher than actual costs.

On CDA, Dotts said the turn-around speed of design work was too slow; the quality of the design work reflected a lack of understanding of the gaming industry which was reflected in all designs; a lack of Saipan marketing knowledge and experience was reflected in all designs; and the cost charges were too high that most of the designs were variations of the same original concept.

Dotts also noted that lack of Japan and Korean marketing knowledge and experience was evident in the poor design work; the design ideas were not creative; the key staff were not efficient in English communication design ideas; the Chinese interpretation and translation services were unacceptably poor; there were constant duplications of errors in visual adaptations; and there were repeated miscommunication between account service and the creative teams.

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Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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  • Lebwel007

    You should have hired a company that didn’t just open up here nei!

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