U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has recused herself from presiding over a lawsuit filed by Tropical Gardens Inc. against the company that’s building a casino in Garapan.
Tropical Gardens has accused Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC of causing its near bankruptcy for refusing to pay for plants and services rendered at the Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel.
Because Tropical Garden’s counsel, Daniel T. Guidotti, is involved in litigation involving her family trust, Manglona said she must disqualify herself from the case.
Manglona gave either party until March 16, 2017, to decide whether they agree to magistrate judge Heather Kennedy handling the case.
Tropical Gardens is suing Imperial Pacific International, Ltd., which is doing business as Best Sunshine International Ltd., and 10 unnamed co-defendants, for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and unjust enrichment.
Guidotti asked the court to hold Imperial Pacific liable to pay Tropical Garden enough money to compensate for its lost profits and out-of pocket expenses.
Tropical Garden claims it is nearly bankrupt now after Imperial Pacific refused to pay for supply and installation services for plant materials at the Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel.
According to the lawyer in the complaint, Imperial Pacific contracted with Worldwide Asia Engineering Limited, a Hong Kong corporation, for the hotel project.
Guidotti said Worldwide Asia was Imperial Pacific’s agent for the purpose of developing the landscaping plan, procuring plants for the landscaping, and managing installation of the landscaping aspects of the hotel.
In June 2016, Tropical Gardens responded to Imperial Pacific’s solicitation for bids to supply plant materials, which included a quotation for $1.3 million plus a schedule of costs for supply of plant material to the hotel
In June 2016, Guidotti said, Worldwide Asia informed Tropical Gardens that Imperial Pacific accepted Tropical’s bid. In July 2016, Tropical Gardens began propagating and procuring plant materials for the hotel.
Guidotti said that as a result of non-payment, Tropical Gardens allegedly released more than half of its workers a few days before 2016 Christmas, used all of its cash reserves, halted its performance under the supply purchase order and the installation bid, and incurred taxes and other debts that the company cannot pay.
To date, the lawyer said, Imperial Pacific has not repaid Tropical Gardens for any sums.