Shipping firm settles lawsuit over alleged delay in shipment to Rota

Saipan Shipping Co. Inc. has settled a lawsuit in federal court filed by a Rota company and a businessman over alleged delay of their shipments to Rota that caused some of their goods to expire or get damaged.

That resulted in the lawsuit—filed by Kin & Rit Inc. and Francisco M. Atalig, who owns Sinapalo Safeway—being dropped Monday.

Attorney Matthew T. Gregory is counsel for Kin & Rit Inc. and Atalig. Attorney Colin M. Thompson is counsel for Saipan Shipping.

Gregory and Thompson asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to dismiss in entirety all claims brought by the parties in the case. Each party shall bear their own attorney’s fees and costs.

Kin & Rit Inc. and Atalig sued Saipan Shipping for 15 counts of breach of contract, 15 counts of negligence, one count of Consumer Protection Act violation, and one count of breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

According to Gregory in the complaint, Atalig shipped goods to Rota via Saipan Shipping on Jan. 9, 2014; Nov. 26, 2014; and March 23, 2015.

Gregory said the goods arrived on Rota 90 days after. Upon inspection of goods, it was determined that some were expired due to the extended shipping period or had been damaged during transport, Gregory said.

Gregory said that Atalig also shipped goods to Rota via Saipan Shipping on March 24, 2015, but it arrived on Rota 180 days after receiving the items from Atalig. Some were expired due to the extended shipping period or had been damaged during transport, he said.

In the case of K&R, it shipped goods to Rota also via Saipan Shipping on April 22, 2015, but the goods never arrived, Gregory said

He said K&R and Atalig had some items shipped to Rota on June 4, 2015, but they arrived on the island 90 days after transfer and that some of the goods were expired due to the shipping delay or had been damaged during transport.

On June 4, 2015, Atalig has some items shipped to Rota but the goods arrived on the island 90 days after transfer and that some of the goods were expired due to the extended shipping period or had been damaged, Gregory said.

The lawyer said the unreasonable delay in shipping the containers was not due to bad weather but was to ensure a full barge to maximize Saipan Shipping’s profits.

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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