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USA: Imperial Pacific International found in contempt of court in alleged forced labour case in Saipan

“IPI found in contempt of court, ordered to pay attorney’s fees and costs”, 16 April 2020

CHIEF Judge Ramona V. Manglona of the District Court for the NMI on… found Imperial Pacific International in contempt of court for violating two of her previous orders. She also ordered IPI to pay the plaintiffs attorney’s fees.

In addition, the judge gave IPI one month to produce documents requested by the plaintiffs; otherwise, it will be required to pay $2,000 per day until it produces everything.

Attorneys Aaron Halegua and Bruce Berline represent seven workers who alleged that they were victims of a forced labor and human trafficking scheme while employed by IPI’s former construction contractor and subcontractor, MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI)…

Halegua earlier asked the court for an order sanctioning IPI for failing to produce discovery that the court had previously ordered.

IPI, for its part, opposed the motion for sanction, saying none of its delayed production of requested documents or materials were due to willfulness or, bad faith, or its fault…

Halegua’s oral request to file an amended complaint to join new parties, with no objection from defense counsel, was also granted by the judge at the hearing. She ordered the plaintiffs to file the amended complaint on May 23, 2020…

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