The 15 former workers of the defunct Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino are now demanding damages totaling $4.2 million and not $3.4 million as they had earlier sought.
The increased amount is because the 15 former workers, though counsel Samuel I. Mok, are also demanding $50,000 each—a total of $750,000—for their mental anguish.
The former workers filed last week before the U.S. District Court for the NMI an amended computation of damages for their lost earnings and lost benefits.
The amended computation reflects that the former workers’ total lost earnings and lost benefits was only $424,272.40 as compared to their original total demand of $442,461.76.
With the inclusion of the $50,000 each for mental anguish, plus the $200,000 each in punitive damages, this brings the former workers’ total demand to $4,174,272.
The total original total demand was $3,442,461.
The former workers filed their statement of damages following Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona’s order directing them to provide the court with the exact amount of damages they are seeking against the owner and management of the Dynasty, Hong Kong (Overseas) Investment Ltd. and Mega Stars Overseas Ltd., respectively.
The hearing on the former workers’ motion for a default judgment against HKE and Mega Stars was set for last Thursday.
At the hearing, after some discussion about the state of the pleadings and supporting documents, Mok asked to continue the hearing.
Manglona granted the request and continued the hearing to March 14 at 9am.
Manglona ordered the plaintiffs to file a memorandum of law in support of the motion no later than March 7.
The 15 former employees are Eric F. Dona, Donny Rivera, Melinda Rivera, Chung-Liang Chiu, Shingo Kajiwara, Han Shao, Lorenzo Pacia III, Didith Pacia, Ming Yang Yuan, Chuan Hui Xu, Flordeliza F. Camiguing, Jovelyn F. Reyes, Richard Julio L. Reyes, Ernesto Y. Rivera, and Jose C. Cadion Jr. The compensatory damages for lost of earnings and lost benefits they are asking for range from $20,878 to $46,933.
Dona and co-plaintiffs recently asked the court to enter a default judgment against HKE and Mega Stars.
Last August, U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood adopted Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennnedy’s recommendation to enter a default judgment against HKE and Mega Stars.
In their lawsuit, Dona and co-plaintiffs alleged that HKE and Mega Stars lied to them that they were legally authorized to work despite the denial of their CW-1 petitions.
In February 2018, Chun Wai Chan, a corporate representative of both HKE and Mega Stars, informed the court that Tinian Dynasty’s operation stopped in August 2015, and had not generated any income since the hotel halted operation in March 2016.
Chan also informed the court that they could not afford to pay for a private counsel in this case.