U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Friday ordered the 15 former foreign workers of the defunct Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino to explain why the claims in their lawsuit against the management of Tinian Dynasty should not be dismissed.
Manglona gave the former workers of Tinian Dynasty no later than this Friday, June 21, to show cause in writing why all claims against the remaining defendant, Mega Stars Overseas Limited, should be dismissed and the case closed.
The judge issued the show- cause order considering that she had already entered last June 7 a default judgment against the other defendant, Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd., which owns Tinian Dynasty.
The default judgment awarded the 15 former workers $800,168 in compensatory and punitive damages in connection with their lawsuit against HKE and Mega Stars.
In granting the plaintiffs’ request for a default judgment, Manglona found HKE liable to pay them as to their claims for fraudulent concealment and wrongful termination.
The plaintiffs, through counsel Samuel Mok, 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 defendants HKE and Mega Stars previously defaulted in this case and did not appear at the May 9, 2019 hearing, although they have been notified.
Mok told the court they were not pursuing default judgment on their claim for negligent misrepresentation at this time. They, however, reserved their right to pursue default judgment on their claims against defendant Mega Stars at a later date.
In the default judgment, Manglona said as to the claim for fraudulent concealment, plaintiffs have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that HKE actively concealed various notices and warnings issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that the CW-1 petitions filed on behalf of the plaintiffs were likely to be denied because USCIS did not view HKE as a “legitimate employer.”
Tinian Dynasty’s casino operation stopped in August 2015. The hotel operation halted in March 2016.