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Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2019 12am

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    Thursday, July 18, 2019-9:39:27A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Judge: 7 workers alleged sufficient claims of forced labor

SAYING that the seven workers have alleged plausible forced labor claims, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona allowed their lawsuit to proceed.

The plaintiffs are Tianming Wang, Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu, and Duxin Yan. They are represented by attorneys Bruce Berline and attorney Aaron Halegua.

They sued Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) and its contractors MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI).

In a 47-page first amended complaint, the workers accused the defendants of forced labor, negligence and liability for employees of subcontractor.

The plaintiffs are seeking, punitive damages, monetary compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering.

Their amended lawsuit also brings claims under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act or TVPRA as well as claims under CNMI law for the injuries they allegedly suffered.

The injuries included badly burnt leg, scalded hand and partially severed finger.

Jude Manglona, in her order on Monday, denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the first amended complaint, motion for a definite statement and motion to strike.

She said the plaintiffs have stated a plausible trafficking claim against each defendant and plausible claim that the plaintiffs “knowingly benefited from the forced labor.”

In a statement, attorney Aaron Halegua said, “We are glad that the plaintiffs, who have already suffered so much, are one step closer to having their day in court.”

IPI is represented by attorney Philip Tydingco, MCC by attorney Robert Torres, and Gold Mantis by attorney Tiberius Mocanu.