IPI hit with another lawsuit

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SARDINI Group Inc., an engineering firm based in New York, sued Imperial Pacific International in federal court for breach of services contract in the amount of $1,951,127.10.

Sardini Group Inc., through attorney Joe W. McDoulett, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday against IPI, alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

The plaintiff, which is demanding a jury trial, is asking the court to issue an order awarding Sardini $1.9 million, consequential damages, pre-and post judgement interests, and attorney’s fees and costs.

On Nov. 3, 2015, the lawsuit stated, Shanghai Chinafu Structural Design Inc. and IPI entered a written contract for the provision of design and engineering services needed for the construction of a casino resort in Garapan.

Prior to July 11, 2016, Chinafu assigned its rights and benefits under the contract to Sardini for the “additional services” to be performed.

Under the contract, Chinafu and subsequently Sardini agreed to provide structural engineering and design services, connection design services, site engineering support services, and additional services as required for the construction of the IPI hotel and casino.

Additional services included all design services that were not explicitly described in the scope of work in the contract; on-site consultation revision to designs produced according to scope of work; change orders; on-site engineering consulting services; and other engineering services outside of the “Core and Shell” of the project.

The lawsuit stated that in exchange for the additional services, IPI agreed to pay Sardini according to a schedule of fees of hourly rates.

On July 11, 2016, Sardini provided IPI with a summary of all services it performed up to June 30, 2016 amounting to $1,228,357.

Sardini billed IPI on Oct. 26, 2016.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Sardini issued an invoice of $200,000 to IPI representing a partial invoice of the outstanding amounts owed.

On Nov. 23, 2016, IPI paid Sardini $100,000 from the Nov. 8, 2016 invoice.

According to McDoulett, IPI assured Sardini that payment would be provided to encourage the engineering firm to continue providing additional services under the contact.

“Despite the failure to pay the amount owed, IPI continued to demand additional services from Sardini Group,” McDoulett said.

On Jan. 2, 2017, Sardini issued a second invoice in the amount of $400,000 and provided an updated summary of services rendered amounting to $1,781,207 on Oct. 5, 2017.

Another request for payment for services rendered was requested by Sardini on Jan. 19, 2018.

“In order to induce Sardini Group to continue to provide additional services, IPI assured the engineering firm payment would be made for the services rendered and the services performed. [The plaintiff] relied on this promise when it continued to provide services after Jan. 19, 2018,” McDoulett said.

By March 5, 2018, the total calculated fee for services provided by Sardini to IPI was $2,051,127, the lawsuit stated.

“IPI has never paid Sardini Group after the first initial payment of $100,000,” it added.

The primary shareholder of Sardini Group Inc., Zuo Qing, was among the contractors who, in Dec. 2019, urged the Commonwealth Casino Commission to help them secure payment for services they rendered to IPI.




November 2020 pssnewsletter

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