AG files motion opposing cannabis case

Sedfrey M. Linsangan filed a lawsuit against the government of Guam and Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero in April alleging the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana on Guam is a violation of the Organic Act of Guam and the Controlled Substances Act. On May 28, the Office of the Attorney General filed an opposition to the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgement. In its filing the OAG stated that in the CSA the term “state” includes territories, allowing Guam to pass laws relating to marijuana that do not create a positive conflict with federal law. The OAG further stated the plaintiff lacks standing to bring this action as the CSA does not give the plaintiff a right to enforce its provisions.


Shipyard files motion for reconsideration

On June 6, the Supreme Court of Guam denied an appeal made by Guam Industrial Services Inc., which does business as Guam Shipyard, in its legal battle with Dresser-Rand Co. The appeal was for a motion to vacate a domesticated judgment which was issued in Texas confirming an arbitration award in favor of Dresser-Rand Co. The Supreme Court of Guam stated Guam Shipyard had failed to show that the Texas judgement should not be entitled to full faith and credit on Guam.


United States charges ship for pollution violations

On June 12, the United States filed a lawsuit against Japanese company Fukuichi Gyogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, the owner and operator of the F/V Fukuichi Maru No. 112 — an ocean-going, stern-chute, purse-seiner fishing vessel. The ship pulled into Guam on April 1 to undergo repairs and was inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard, as all commercial vessels operating in U.S. waters or ports are under the jurisdiction of the United States. The filing claims upon inspection the F/V Fukuichi Maru No. 112 had failed to maintain an Oil Record Book and a Garbage Record Book as required by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. The suit further alleges that on April 2 Fukuichi corruptly influenced, obstructed and impeded a pending proceeding by the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security by altering 26 entries in the vessel’s Oil Record Book. 


Hotel guests sue Nikko Hotel

On June 12 Mira Choi and Wan Hee Lee of South Korea filed a lawsuit against the Nikko Hotel Guam for losses and damages after Choi nearly drowned at the hotel’s pool. The defendants claim no lifeguard, safety staff or other Nikko employee was present to render emergency aid or assistance to Choi when she began drowning. After what the defendants claim to be a significant lapse of time, hotel employees pulled Choi out of the pool. The suit alleges no emergency safety equipment was available or used to render emergency aid to Choi.

After pulling her from the pool, the suit claims hotel employees put Choi in a wheelchair and brought her to her room where she lost consciousness and was later found unresponsive. Emergency 911 services were needed, and Choi was transported to the Guam Regional Medical Center where she required emergency medical services, hospital admission and intensive care services. After approximately five days she was transported to South Korea for further medical treatment.

Plaintiffs are asking for losses and damages in excess of $1 million per plaintiff, per injury.    


Complaint against Guam bank dismissed

On June 14 the Northern Marianas Islands Superior Court dismissed a complaint made against ANZ Guam Inc., formerly Citizens Security Bank, by Edward L.G. Lizama as personal representative of the estate of Jesus T. and Victoria L.G. Lizama, owners of J & Jev Enterprises Inc., which did business as Victoria’s Hotel. The complaint claimed the bank foreclosed on the plaintiff’s property without a business license in the NMI.

In the ruling the court found the grounds for each of the plaintiff’s causes of action are barred by issue preclusion. Additionally, the ruling states the case warrants dismissal because the Lizamas failed to state claims for relief based on an alleged violation of the Consumer Protection Act, the Commonwealth Debt Collection Act and breach of contract. mbj