Club 88 Mariana’s lawsuit vs Kan Pacific dismissed

Judge notes conflicting allegations whether transaction occurred between Kan Pacific and Imperial Pacific

Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio yesterday dismissed e-gaming facility Club 88 Mariana’s claim for breach of contract against Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd., which owns Mariana Resort & Spa.

Kim-Tenorio ruled that since Saipan Entertainment LLC’s lawsuit fails to plead facts to establish a claim for breach of contract, or breach of contract based on anticipatory repudiation, the court dismisses such claim against Kan Pacific without prejudice.

Dismiss without prejudice means Saipan Entertainment LLC, which owns Club 88 Mariana, may re-file the claim in the future.

In granting Kan Pacific’s motion to dismiss, Kim-Tenorio said she is not persuaded that Kan Pacific met their burden in moving to dismiss the entire first amended complaint filed by Saipan Entertainment and thus, she declines to do so.

Kim-Tenorio granted all defendants in this lawsuit an additional two weeks from yesterday to file their answer to the first amended complaint.

The judge found that Saipan Entertainment’s amended complaint pleads conflicting allegations as to whether a transaction between Kan Pacific and Imperial Pacific International occurred.

Kim-Tenorio pointed out that assuming that said transaction occurred, the remaining allegations as to breach and damages were conclusory, based on future events, or not included in the complaint.

Kim-Tenorio also stated that the court was not persuaded by Saipan Entertainment’s argument for anticipatory repudiation as Saipan Entertainment failed to allege how Kan Pacific’s statements or actions amounted to an unequivocal breach.

The judge pointed out that Saipan Entertainment’s complaint fails to plead how Kan Pacific’s statements and/or actions amounted to a repudiation.

Thus, Kim-Tenorio said, the complaint failed to establish sufficient facts to show that Kan Pacific’s actions amount to an anticipatory breach of the sublease.

On Dec. 18, 2013, without Department of Public Land’s consent, Kan Pacific subleased 3,500 square feet of thee Mariana Resort and Spa’s property to Saipan Entertainment for its Club 88 Mariana. Club 88 Mariana began operations in November 2015.

Saipan Entertainment sued Kan Pacific, Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, which is doing business as Best Sunshine International, for allegedly not informing the company of Best Sunshine’s negotiation to purchase the resort. DPL Secretary Marianne C. Teregeyo was also named as co-defendant.

Saipan Entertainment sued Kan Pacific for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and fraudulent nondisclosure.

Saipan Entertainment sued DPL and Teregeyo in order to enjoin the CNMI government from consenting to any assignment of the resort lease or the resort property until the controversy surrounding the validity of the resort lease is resolved.

Saipan Entertainment sued Imperial Pacific for intentional interference with contract.

Kan Pacific, through counsel Joseph J. Iacopino, then moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that, Saipan Entertainment failed to allege facts to establish breach and damages.

In Saipan Entertainment’s opposition to the motion to dismiss, attorney Daniel Guidotti argued that the complaint establishes sufficient facts to show that Kan Pacific’s actions amount to an anticipatory breach of the sublease.

Kim-Tenorio heard the motion last March 14 and placed the matter under advisement.

In her nine-page order yesterday, Kim-Tenorio ruled that the complaint failed to state a claim for breach of contract and failed to state a claim for anticipatory repudiation.

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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