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Last updateThu, 18 Jul 2019 12am







    Wednesday, July 17, 2019-1:09:39P.M.






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Construction company sues 2 fire department officials

DOUBLE A Corp., which specializes in fire sprinkler and suppression systems, has sued two officials of the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services for not issuing a permit for a sprinkler system that the company was hired to install.

Named defendants in the case filed in federal court are DFEMS Commissioner Clyde K. Norita and fire inspector Anthony Babauta. They were sued for deprivation of property without due process, and deprivation of liberty without due process.

Represented by the O’Connor, Berman, Horey & Banes Law Firm, Double A Corp. is demanding a jury trial.

The company is seeking award for damages, including lost income, incidental and consequential damages, as well as legal expenses.

According to the lawsuit, Double A submitted a quotation to Proper Grand CNMI LLC for fire sprinkler system installation in a building complex known as Sugar King Dormitory.

Double A proposed to do the work for $410,150 on Oct. 20, 2017.

On Nov. 3, 2017 Proper Grand agreed to hire Double A for the project.

The project, pursuant to the agreement, was contingent upon the fire department’s approval of Double A’s plans for the sprinkler system.

Attorney Jeffrey Horey said Double A submitted an application for installation permit to fire inspector Anthony Babauta.

Horey said Babauta refused to accept any permit application from Double A and failed to issue any written explanation for rejecting the application.

Double A appealed Babauta’s decision to Norita, who subsequently upheld the fire inspector’s decision.

As a result, Double A was unable to get a permit from the fire department for the authorization to install the sprinkler system.

Horey said both defendants indicated that the reason for their refusal to issue a permit was due to an installation error allegedly committed by the company in the past, and Double A’s failure to pass an ad hoc oral “test” imposed on the spot by the defendants, “rather than on any failure of the proposed sprinkler system to conform to the fire code or other pertinent laws.”

The lawsuit stated that the fire department contacted Proper Grand and advised that Double A was not authorized to do any installation work.

As a result of Double A’s inability to obtain a permit from the fire department, it was unable to execute the project agreement for Proper Grand and lost the value of its contract.

According to the lawsuit, the fire department maintains a list of contractors it deems eligible for installation permits, and has consciously excluded Double A from that list. As a result, Double was unable to engage in its business of fire sprinkler and suppression installation.