Superior Court denies IPI’s motion for reconsideration in sexual harassment lawsuit

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SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan on Tuesday denied the motion of Imperial Pacific International for reconsideration in the sexual harassment lawsuit of Yuqin Gui.

Judge Bogdan found the IPI motion to reconsider failed to present an adequate legal basis for the court to reconsider its previous order.

IPI simply argued that this court should dismiss the claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress because of a Superior Court precedent, the judge noted.

Judge Bogdan was not persuaded that relief was warranted. He said the previous Superior Court case, Muna v. Development Inc., is not binding.

“IPI does not suggest that there is a legal basis for reconsideration either through an intervening change of controlling law; the availability of new evidence; or to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice,” Judge Bogdan added.

The motion of IPI to dismiss Gui’s lawsuit was denied by Judge Bogdan on Sept. 6, 2019. IPI filed a motion to reconsider on Sept 17.

Gui, an ex-employee of IPI, filed the lawsuit on Jan. 31, 2019 against Stephen Brown, a pit manager employed by IPI for intentional infliction of emotional distress or IIED.

She accused Brown of unwanted and outrageous sexual advances that he made on the job during non-working hours over nearly a two-year period.

Gui also alleged that she reported Brown’s actions to the IPI human resources department.

Her complaint alleged that IPI ratified Brown’s actions by failing to investigate the matter and instead promoted him.

According to her lawsuit, IPI failed to ensure that its supervisors were not sexual predators, and did not adequately screen, educate, or train its supervisors on sexual relations with subordinates.

In the lawsuit, IPI was represented by attorney Kelly Bucher who previously argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed, pointing out that “it is the law of most jurisdictions that an employer cannot be held liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress when the alleged tortfeasor is merely a supervisor or manager and not the employer in person nor a person who is realistically the alter ego of the corporation.”

Bucher said Gui’s lawsuit failed to allege that Brown was acting under the direction or specific authorization of IPI.

Brown is represented by attorney Catherine J. Cachero and denied all the allegations of Gui’s complaint.

Gui, represented by attorney William Fitzgerald, likewise filed a similar lawsuit in the District Court for the NMI also naming Brown and IPI as defendants.

Gui filed the federal lawsuit on Oct. 9, 2019. The jury trial is set for Feb. 2, 2021 at 10 a.m.

A status conference on Gui’s complaint is scheduled in federal court for June 18, 2020 at 11 a.m.

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