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Hawaii federal court confirms arbitrated decision in Marisco suit

The federal court in Honolulu has approved a federal arbitration decision, which awards more than $800,000 in favor of Hawaii based Marisco Limited in the company’s case against the American Samoa Government.

Marisco attorneys filed a motion in March this year saying that the federal arbitration “decision and award” issued last December specifically states that “the ASG is to pay Marisco... $811,631.87, plus interest on that amount at the rate of .43% per year— not compounded—from Sept. 1, 2009 until paid, plus cost of suit.”

Marisco asked the court to issue an order confirming the award and entering the appropriate judgement in conformity with the arbitrator’s determination.

In an Apr. 25 order granting Marisco’s motion, U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Kobayashi states that a hearing on the plaintiff’s motion was held Apr. 16 and “no opposing memorandum was filed and there were no opposing arguments.”

The court, having reviewed the file and being apprised on the premises, granted Marisco’s motion.

This case stems from a civil action suit filed by Honolulu-based Marisco in March 2010 alleging a breach of contract and claiming that ASG still owed $832,671 in unpaid services, repairs and modifications to the tug boat Sailele, as well as services provided to two ASG barges.

ASG denied the allegations but confirmed it had already paid Marisco $2.18 million "for work which was allegedly performed and equipment/materials which were allegedly provided” and filed a counter suit against Marisco and named a third party — Terry Conden — who was ASG’s representative working with Marisco.

In March 2011, all parties agreed to enter into binding arbitration of the claims, counterclaims, and third party claims. Additionally, the parties agreed that the cost of arbitration shall be borne equally by Marisco and ASG.

As previously reported by Samoa News, the tugboat project — including the purchase of the barges — was allocated $3.2 million under the ASG $20 million loan from the ASG Employees Retirement Fund, but this project is reported as overspent by $1.45 million.A balance of $1.21 million is left in the $20 million loan and it’s unclear if the government will tap into this money to make the final payment to Marisco or use another ASG account, which is something that the Senate Investigative Committee will closely monitor as they probe the spending of the $20 million loan.