The federal court yesterday held a pre-settlement conference in connection with a lawsuit filed by over 500 current and former foreign workers against the owners of Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino over the denial of their CNMI-only Transitional Worker (CW-1) petitions.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy discussed with parties her expectations for the upcoming settlement conference, which is rescheduled from Aug. 4, 2016, to Sept. 7, 2016 at 8:30am.
Attorney Samuel Mok appeared at the conference telephonically on behalf of the foreign workers. Attorney Daniel Dotts appeared telephonically as counsel for defendants Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd. and Mega Stars Overseas Ltd..
According to the minutes of the conference, Kennedy ordered the workers to submit a demand to defendants by July 5, 2016. The defendants were ordered to respond to such demand by Aug. 23, 2016.
Kennedy said any terms regarding payment or disputed terms will be discussed during settlement conference.
Kennedy ordered that representatives with full settlement authority should be physically present during the settlement conference.
In their lawsuit, Eric F. Dona and co-plaintiffs, through counsel Mok, alleged that the owners and management of Tinian Dynasty lied to them about their immigration legal status.
The plaintiffs alleged that the owners and management of Tinian Dynasty lied that they were legally authorized to work notwithstanding the denial of their CW-1 petitions.
The plaintiffs’ amended complaint adds a claim of constructive fraud against HKE and HKE majority shareholder, Mega Stars.
Mok asked the court to preliminarily and permanently enjoin the defendants from terminating plaintiffs’ employment or removing their name from an administrative appeal.
The lawyer moved the court to issue a declaration that HKE’s statement that it was legally permissible for the plaintiffs to continue working even though the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had denied their CW-1 petitions was false.
Mok requested the court to hold HKE and Mega Stars liable to pay the workers damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
Some of the workers already left the CNMI.