Construction firm settles suit over OSHA violations


A construction company has agreed to pay the U.S. government a little over $36,000 to settle a lawsuit that seeks to collect penalties assessed against it for alleged occupational safety violations in 2013 and 2016.

For the first Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection, Northpac Corp. agreed to pay $27,894.43. For the second OSHA inspection, the company will pay $8,537.90. In all, Northpac Corp. will pay $36,432.33 within 90 days of the execution of the agreement. In exchange, the U.S. government is going to dismiss the lawsuit.

The original OSHA civil penalty totaled $39,489.

Joaquin DLG Torres, the lawyer for Northpac Corp., Northpac Corp. general manager Miguel Cruz Jr., and assistant U.S. attorney Jessica F. Wessling, counsel for OSHA, informed the U.S. District Court for the NMI last Friday that the parties in the case have reached a settlement.

For the first inspection, Northpac also agrees to provide the U.S. with a completed certification of corrective action worksheet, a written hazard communications program for hazardous chemicals such as Portland cement, and a safety data sheet for Portland cement within 14 days of execution of this agreement.

Failure to provide the documents shall void the compromise settlement for the first inspection, but will not affect the compromise settlement for the other inspection.

Each party shall bear its own costs and attorneys’ fees.

The district court will retain jurisdiction over the case to enforce the settlement deal.

In a document dated last June 5, Cruz told Wessling that this case should have been settled a long time ago.

Cruz said that on May 30, 2018 they sent a letter agreeing to the offer of the U.S. Department of Labor-OSHA legal counsel Sonia Shao for a 50 percent reduction of the $17,102 penalty, agreeing to settle by paying in full the $4,940 and paying the remaining $8,551 in installments of $300 a month.

In its lawsuit, the U.S. government asked the court to hold Northpac Corp. liable to pay $21,876.31 in the first violation and $17,972.88 in the second violation, for a total of $39,849.19 as of April 10, 2019, plus interest and costs.

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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