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IN CASE FILED BY 7 CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

Gold Mantis’ noncompliance could result in default judgment

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The U.S. District Court for the NMI has warned Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC that it would rule against the company if it continues to remain noncompliant.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona issued a show-cause order against Gold Mantis for not complying with a previous order regarding discovery in the lawsuit of seven workers.

Manglona ordered Gold Mantis to show cause in writing as to why the court should not enter default judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.

In addition, the court also wants an explanation from Gold Mantis on why the court should not treat its noncompliance as contempt of court, and why the court should not impose a civil contempt sanction requiring Gold Mantis to pay a $2,000 daily fine from the time all discovery and affidavits were to be produced.

Manglona ordered Gold Mantis to respond no later than Nov. 15 at 5pm. She has also scheduled a hearing for Nov. 25 at 9am.

Aaron Halegua, who represents Tianming Wang, one of the seven construction workers, filed a status report on Nov. 5 informing the court that Gold Mantis has not complied with any of the seven items in a previous court order.

“No discovery was tendered; no affidavits were provided (or any drafts thereof); no updated discovery responses were served; and Gold Mantis did not file a certification that it had complied with the order. Indeed, Gold Mantis has not filed any status update with the court,” he said.

Back in Oct. 19, Manglona ordered Gold Mantis to produce all bank records, produce all records held by Gold Mantis’ accountant, produce all documents related to a People’s Republic of China government inquiry into Gold Mantis’ operations on Saipan, produce all responsive electronically-stored information or ESI, provide detailed affidavits describing Gold Mantis’ efforts to preserve and search for ESI, provide updated responses to the plaintiffs’ request for proposals and interrogatories, and submit a certification of compliance with the order. Gold Mantis was ordered to provide these by Oct. 29.

Manglona’s order also directed the plaintiffs to file a status report by Nov. 6.

Aside from Wang, the other plaintiffs in the case are Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu and Duxin Yan.

The plaintiffs worked for MCC International and Gold Mantis, former contractor and subcontractor of Imperial Pacific International.

The plaintiffs are suing the defendants for forced labor, negligence, and liability for employees of subcontractors. The plaintiffs are also alleging human trafficking violations.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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 kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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