MODICA Pro Ltd., Corrado Modica and Glenn Patrick Bell have filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against Hongtao Su, one of the owners of Pacific International Property Management.

It was earlier reported that Su is also an adviser to the board members of the parent company of Imperial Pacific International LLC.

The plaintiffs, through attorney Joe McDoulett, sued Su for interference with contract and has asked the Superior Court to award damages.

According to the complaint, on Jan. 7, 2020, IPI and Modica Pro entered into a valid contract for the provision of labor and services in the construction of level 14 of the casino resort in Garapan in the amount of $2 million.

The contract required IPI to make an advance payment of $200,000.

Corrado Modica is the principal of Modica Pro and Bell is the project manager.

Modica and Bell also have employment contracts with IPI.

According to the lawsuit, at the direction of Su, beginning in February 2020, the number of workers available for Modica Pro to perform its tasks was restricted.

By July 2020, Modica Pro was limited to 11 workers on a job that required approximately 70 workers, the lawsuit stated.

It added that the reduction of manpower at Su’s direction made it impossible for Modica Pro to perform under the contract.

On July 24, 2020, Modica Pro requested a progress payment of $337,160 as provided in the contract. The amount included the $200,000 required for advance payment as well as an offset of $103,000 in IPI’s favor for wages paid for labor up to July 24, 2020, the lawsuit stated.

On Aug. 18, 2020, in a meeting held at the direction of Su, he ordered Modica to reduce his salary from $70 per hour to $8.50 per hour and Bell from $50 per hour to $8.50 per hour, the lawsuit stated, adding that Su also ordered Modica Pro to reduce all its workers’ salaries to $8.50 per hour.

At the same meeting, Su also stated that IPI would not pay Modica Pro a progress payment and advance payment due under the contract and that Modica Pro would be required to work without payment until Su decided it had completed site work equivalent to the wages already paid, the lawsuit stated.

If Modica Pro did not follow Su’s instructions, the contracts between IPI and Modica Pro would be terminated including Bell’s and Modica's.

On the same date, following the meeting, IPI ordered Modica Pro to stop work.

In a letter dated Aug. 20, 2020, IPI directed Modica Pro to respond to Su’s instructions to: 1) expedite installation and construction without pay; 2) reduce all salaries to $8.50 per hour; 3) pay a bond of $200,000; and 4) follow the stop work order issued on Aug. 18, 2020.

On Aug. 25, 2020 the lawsuit stated that IPI terminated the employment of Modica and Bell, and on Aug. 26, 2020 IPI terminated the contract with Modica Pro.

The lawsuit is asking the court for an order awarding Modica Pro $2.6 million plus expenses for damages.

Modica wants the court to issue an order awarding him $46,060 plus expenses for damages while Bell is asking the court to issue an order awarding him $32,900 plus expenses in damages.

In addition, the plaintiffs are seeking reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

On April 6, 2021, the Superior Court issued a summons against Su to file an answer to the complaint 21 days after being served.

According to the summons, if Su fails to file an answer, a judgment by default may be issued against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint.

Reporter

Bryan Manabat studied criminal justice at Northern Marianas College. He covers the community, tourism, business, police and court beats.

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