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7 workers seek $30K in attorneys’ fees from Gold Mantis

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ON behalf of seven construction workers, attorney Aaron Halegua is requesting the District Court for the NMI to award them $30,517.80 in attorneys’ fees.

The workers have sued their former employer, Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC, a former subcontractor of casino investor Imperial Pacific International LLC.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona recently granted the workers’ request to order Gold Mantis to produce discovery materials in the plaintiffs’ lawsuit alleging labor and other violations.

The judge directed Gold Mantis to obtain and produce financial records, tax records, and produce other documents and electronically stored information or ESI.

The judge likewise approved the award of attorney’ fees related to the filing of the motion against Gold Mantis.

New York-based Halegua in his motion stated that the request for attorneys’ fees is reasonable. 

The request is based on Halegua’s rate of $400 per hour, co-counsel Bruce Berline’s rate, which is $300 per hour, and the $160 per hour rate for two law student interns who performed legal research and other work regarding the lawsuit.

Halegua billed 62.62 hours of work totaling $25,048; Berline billed 3.95 hours for a total of $1,185; and the two interns billed a total of 26.78 hours of work for a total of $4,284.80.

The plaintiffs are Tianming Wang, Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu, and Duxin Yan.

Some of them also worked for IPI’s former contractor, MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co.

MCC  and IPI have been named co-defendants in the workers’ amended complaint, which also alleged human trafficking violations.

The plaintiffs have asked the federal court to award them $3.86 million in compensatory damages and $7.72 million in punitive damages.

Tiberius Mocanu represents Gold Mantis while attorney Robert T. Torres serves as legal counsel to MMC International.

Lawyer Michael Dotts is the attorney for IPI.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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