Casino operator seeks dismissal of ex-VIP services host’s claims


Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC sought yesterday the dismissal of the lawsuit of a former VIP services host at the Imperial Pacific Resort and Casino in Garapan.

IPI, through counsel Kelley M. Butcher, asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to dismiss plaintiff Shirline Loh’s wage claims and claim for fraud.

Loh had sued IPI for allegedly not paying her minimum wage and overtime wages and refusing to give her customers’ tips.

Butcher said that Loh’s wage claims should be dismissed with prejudice as they are barred by the statute of limitations.

That would mean Loh would no longer be allowed to re-file the wage claims.

Butcher said the fraud claim should be dismissed as well as it fails to allege all of the elements of fraud and fails to allege fraud with particularity.

Loh, through counsel William M. Fitzgerald, is suing IPI for alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Minimum Wage Hour Act, and conversion and fraud.

Loh is demanding that IPI be made to pay her the minimum wage and overtime pay. She also wants her share of tips.

Loh is a citizen of Singapore. She currently lives there. According to Fitzgerald in the complaint, Loh worked for IPI from Oct. 15, 2015 to August 2016.

In IPI’s motion to dismiss, Butcher said the complaint insufficiently pleads fraud.

In Loh’s wage claim, Butcher said Commonwealth law clearly sets a six-month limitation period for unintentional wage claims and a one-year statute of limitations for intentional wage claims.

The lawyer noted that Loh filed her case more than one year after her separation from work at IPI. Therefore her claim should be dismissed with prejudice, Butcher said.

On the fraud claim, the lawyer said the court should dismiss it as it is not pleaded with particularity as required by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 9(b).

The lawyer cited that the elements of fraud or intentional misrepresentation under Commonwealth law. To satisfy this particularity requirement, Butcher said a complaint must do more than merely allege these basic elements. Rather, Butcher said, a claim of fraud must allege the circumstances constituting “fraud” such as the time, place, and nature of the alleged fraudulent conduct.

The fraud claim in this case, she said, fails to plead with particularity.

She said two paragraphs are the only factual allegations Loh alleges in support of her fraud claim.

Butcher said the complaint does not allege all of the elements of fraud and fail to alleged particularized facts such as the time, place, and nature of the allege fraudulent conduct.

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

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