IPI hires veteran lawyers to handle suits


Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has beefed up its legal team with veteran lawyers to face a number of lawsuits filed against the company, both in local and federal courts.

IPI hired lawyer Stephen J. Nutting as its counsel in two separate lawsuits filed by its former contractor before the federal court. Nutting notified the U.S. District Court for the NMI yesterday of his appearance as IPI’s counsel in the two cases filed by U.S.A. Fanter Corp. Nutting asked the court that all pleadings and other documents in the cases be served on him.

He also asked the court to be added to the court’s electronic filing system for access to all the previous filings made by the parties in the lawsuits.

The law firm of O’Connor withdrew as counsel for IPI in the two cases.

U.S.A. Fanter is suing IPI for allegedly refusing to pay $2,089,345 over landscaping improvements for IPI’s hotel-casino project in Garapan. U.S.A. Fanter asked the court to hold IPI liable to pay $2.08 million in contract damages. The company also seeks payment in interest and attorney’s fees.

IPI argues that U.S.A. Fanter has not complied with the mandatory mediation clause.

U.S.A. Fanter also asked the court to attach a mechanic’s lien to IPI’s interests in the real property on the project. A mechanic’s lien refers to a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property.

In the other case, U.S.A. Fanter is suing IPI for issuing statements published in two newspapers that allegedly contained libelous statements. U.S.A. Fanter asked the court to hold IPI liable to pay an unspecified amount of damages. U.S.A. Fanter also asked the court to require IPI to make a public retraction of the statements. IPI allegedly transmitted its libelous statements to Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety on Dec. 19, 2019 and Dec. 20, 2019, respectively. IPI has denied that the statements were libelous.

IPI also hired former Office of the Public Auditor legal counsel George L. Hasselback as its counsel in other lawsuits filed against the company. Veteran lawyer Michael W. Dotts is the new general counsel for IPI.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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