Motion granted to set aside civil suit settlement - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Motion granted to set aside civil suit settlement

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Superior Court Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena has granted the government's motion to set aside an $11 million settlement agreement that was entered into between DRC, Inc. and the Government of Guam on March 14, 2008.  DRC removed and processed debris caused by Supertyphoon Paka in 1998. The company filed a civil suit against the Guam Environmental Protection Agency and the Governor of Guam for payment for work they performed. 

DRC requested $7 million plus accrued interest.  The government argued that no contract existed to pay DRC any more than it had already been paid.  A motion for summary judgment was held in abeyance after FEMA authorized payments for expenses relating to cleanup costs.

On March 14, 2008 DRC and the government, through a representative from the Office of the Governor, entered into a settlement agreement under which the Government of Guam would pay DRC $11.1 for the claim. The payment was made a week later without the Attorney General's knowledge and without its approval of the settlement agreement.  Judge Lamorena noted that DRC failed to present any arguments why the court should grant judgment in excess of the original claim, has failed to demonstrate why it has used compound interest, instead of the computations provided by the Prompt Payment Act.

The court set aside the settlement agreement to allow the Attorney General to have oversight over the settlement negotiations. DRC's motion to quash a subpoena served on the Rev & Tax director was denied.  The company wanted to prevent the director from presenting records regarding its Gross Receipts Taxes.

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