3 establishments sue IPI for alleged obstruction


Three establishments located directly across the casino resort of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC in western Garapan are suing IPI for allegedly obstructing their sites and affecting their operations.

American Herbal Essence Group, American Create Beauty Corp., and American Dongsheng Corp., through counsel Robert T. Torres, are suing IPI for private nuisance and tortious interference with prospective business advantage.

The companies ask the Superior Court to hold IPI liable to pay them undetermined damages and court costs. They demand a jury trial.

As of press time yesterday, Saipan Tribune was still awaiting comments from IPI.

According to Torres in the complaint, the plaintiffs are lessees of a commercial space on Coral Tree Avenue across IPI’s casino.

On Dec. 20, 2018, Torres said, IPI began extensive excavation of a large portion of Coral Tree Avenue, which extended within close proximity to plaintiffs’ leased premises.

Torres said IPI dug a 2-foot-deep trench and posted detour signs redirecting foot and vehicular traffic away from the entrance of the plaintiffs’ leased premises.

Two weeks later, IPI and its contractors redirected its construction to the main entrance of its casino and hotel and left behind the open trench, Torres said. When the plaintiffs complained to the Division of Coastal Resource Management, Department of Public Works, Department of Environmental Quality, and the Casino Commission about the road construction, DCRM director Janice C. Castro reportedly responded in an email that IPI had been granted a major siting permit for the roadside construction. The lawyer said that, according to Castro, upon inspection of the construction site, it was determined that no permit violations had occurred. Torres said Castro advised that DCRM will continue to monitor the work being performed by IPI.

He said that last March 21, IPI finally completed its pavement repair work on Coral Tree Avenue and has backfilled the trench, yet it continues to obstruct the area by maintaining its detour signs, preventing access to the area.

As a result, Torres said, the plaintiffs’ use of its leased premises and operation of business remain affected.

This, Torres said, has frustrated and impacted plaintiffs’ contractual relationship with its landlord.

Torres said the plaintiffs had spent a lot of time and money to renovate the leased premises in preparation for the Western and Chinese New Year in anticipation of increased business during these holidays, but have failed to attract customers and its patrons due to IPI’s acts.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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