All claims of ex-Dynasty workers against Mega Stars are dismissed

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed without prejudice Friday all the claims of 15 former foreign workers of the defunct Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino against the Mega Stars Overseas Ltd., the company that was managing the Dynasty just before it closed.

This means the former foreign workers of the Tinian Dynasty may re-file the lawsuit against Mega Stars in the future.

Manglona ordered the dismissal after the 15 plaintiffs, through their counsel Samuel Mok, notified the court Friday that they don’t object to dismissing all their claims against Mega Stars.

With the dismissal, Manglona nullified her order that directed the workers to explain why she should not drop their claims against Mega Stars considering that she had already entered a default judgment against Tinian Dynasty’s owner, Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investment Limited.

The court’s clerk was directed to close the case.

Mok said they do not object to the dismissal but asked that the dismissal be made such that they can re-file the claims in the future.

Mok said his clients may pursue a joint-employer theory of liability against Mega Stars for the claims previously asserted in their complaint.

Mok said the plaintiffs have not yet come to a consensus on whether to pursue such a claim at this time.

The default judgment entered last June 7 awarded the 15 former foreign workers $800,168 in compensatory and punitive damages in connection with their lawsuit against HKE and Mega Stars.

Manglona found HKE liable to pay them as to their claims for fraudulent concealment and wrongful termination.

The plaintiffs sued HKE and Mega Stars for allegedly lying to them that they were legally authorized to work, despite the denial of their CW-1 petitions.

Majority of the 15 plaintiffs have lived in the CNMI for many years and have children who are U.S. citizens.

The plaintiffs asked the court to issue a default judgment holding HKE and Mega Stars liable to pay them $4.2 million in damages.

Both HKE and Mega Stars previously defaulted in this case and did not appear at the May 9, 2019 hearing, although they have been notified.

Tinian Dynasty’s casino operation stopped in August 2015. The hotel operation halted in March 2016.

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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