Default judgment against IPI in Grand Mariana suit requested anew


The U.S. Department of Justice-Aviation has again asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to enter a default judgment against Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC and its parent company, IPI Holdings Ltd., pertaining to the over $1 million costs incurred for the removal of the damaged Grand Mariana yacht back in 2018.

In his most recent motion, USDOJ civil and torts division attorney Frank Anders reiterated that IPI and IPI Holdings have failed to respond to the complaint within the required time and is urging the District Court for the NMI, again, to enter a default judgement against the defendants.

The motion noted that USDOJ filed its original complaint on May 14, and IPI and IPI Holdings were served with the summons and verified complaint on Aug. 16.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, USDOJ also asked the court to enter default in the matter back in September.

Anders said the U.S. government had not granted IPI and IPI Holdings any formal or informal extensions of time to file a response to the complaint.

According to the lawsuit, the Grand Mariana was badly damaged after Super Typhoon Yutu in October 2018 and the removal costs were incurred in responding to the potential threat of oil spill from the damaged yacht. The lawsuit sought to recover $1,391,917.18 from IPI for the Grand Mariana incident and removal action costs.

Besides IPI and IPIH, the DOJ also named Pride Keen Ltd. as a defendant in the complaint for liability under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 as registered owners of the Grand Mariana.

The complaint stated that the U.S. government, through the Field Operations Service Center, contracted various entities, including Global Diving and Salvage, Inc., to salvage and remove the Grand Mariana.

On April 14, 2020, the National Pollution Funds Center sent a Notice of Potential Liability Letters to Pride Keen, IPI, and IPI Holdings advising them that the U.S. Coast Guard considered them responsible parties.

The National Pollution Funds Center demanded reimbursement for all of the outstanding removal costs and damage owed by the defendants, and on May 10, 2020, sent all defendants an invoice for $1,391,917.18.

Despite the demand, IPI, IPIH, and Pride Keen allegedly refused to reimburse the costs and damages.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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