Judge Barcinas: Lotte’s counterclaims against DFS are unlawful

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Guam – DFS has scored another victory in their decades-long litigation battle against Lotte Duty Free and the Guam International Airport.

On July 30, Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas ruled in DFS’ favor, finding Lotte’s counterclaims in violation of Guam law and granting both DFS’ request for attorney fees and its request for sanctions.

According to court documents, Lotte filed three counterclaims: (1) that DFS interfered with Lotte’s contract with the airport, (2) that DFS maliciously abused the procurement protest process, and (3) that DFS maliciously sought to prosecute Lotte by including them in its lawsuit against GIAA.

However, the Court determined that Lotte violated the Citizen Participation in Government Act by launching their counterclaims against DFS, whose conduct was protected under CPGA. As a result, all three counterclaims were dismissed with prejudice.

This ruling is the latest development in the long-standing procurement dispute involving the airport’s awarding of the specialty retail concession agreement to Lotte.

Barcinas’ pronouncement in particular follows a series of losses for Lotte and GIAA. In 2016, GIAA was found in violation of Guam law when it wrongfully seized DFS’ performance bond. The following year, the Superior Court ruled that GIAA violated another law by refusing to produce pertinent documents surrounding its RFP concession to Lotte. More recently, the Court ruled earlier this year that GIAA’s contract with Lotte failed to comply with multiple provisions in Guam Procurement Law.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.