IPI faces possible entry of default in Grand Mariana suit

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Imperial Pacific International LLC and its parent company, IPI Holdings Ltd., faces a possible entry of default in the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice pertaining to the over $1 million costs incurred for the removal of the Grand Mariana yacht back in 2018.

The DOJ filed its request with the U.S District Court for the NMI to issue an entry of default against IPI and IPIH in the suit they filed back in May last week.

USDOJ Civil and Torts division attorney Frank Anders told the court that IPI and IPI Holdings have failed to respond to the complaint within the required time.

Anders said the U.S. government has 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 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 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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