IPI defers settlement payments to secure tower cranes

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The U.S. Department of Labor and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC have come to a tentative agreement to defer IPI’s next settlement payment to allow IPI to use those funds to secure the cranes at the IPI Resort construction site that neighboring businesses have voiced concerns about.

According to IPI’s 30th status report filed by counsel Michael Dotts, IPI told the U.S District Court for the NMI that although there were no settlement payments due during the reporting period, they had already come to an agreement with USDOL to defer their September payment in order to secure the tower cranes at their construction site.

“No settlement payment was due during the reporting period. The next settlement payment will be due on Sept. 1, 2021. However, there is a tentative agreement with DOL to defer this payment so that IPI can use the money to fund securing the tower cranes against typhoons,” said Dotts.

In addition, Dotts also filed his official motion to withdraw as IPI’s counsel in the matter for IPI’s failure to pay his legal fees.

“The grounds for counsel’s withdrawal are essentially that IPI has failed to pay legal fees and costs that IPI agreed to pay, and that the continuation of the representation will work a hardship on counsel. Plaintiff will not be prejudiced by the withdrawal of counsel. Reasonable notice of counsel’s intention to seek leave to withdraw has been given to IPI,” Dotts stated.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, IPI construction site manager Jesse Aquiningoc earlier told Commonwealth Casino Commission board members during the board’s meeting Thursday that he believes that, if not repaired immediately, Tower Crane No. 6 that is facing the beach may start to collapse in three months.

IPI’s construction site in Garapan has three standing tower cranes: Tower Crane No. 5 facing Joeten Shopping Center, Tower Crane No. 6 facing the beach, and Tower Crane No. 1.

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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