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Dry Cleaner Wins $54 Million Pants Lawsuit

I can't believe this case even went to court, but it did and after two days of testimony, the judge actually had to take a few days to think about how she would rule. The ruling finally came down today and Mr. $54 million lost:

Three Korean immigrants who own a Washington dry cleaner won't lose their shirts for allegedly misplacing a pair of pants belonging to a local judge, after a court rejected his $54 million lawsuit.


Judge Judith Bartnoff of the District of Columbia Superior Court ruled for the shop owners, Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Chung, after a two-day trial earlier this month.

Bartnoff rejected a claim by Roy Pearson, an administrative law judge in Washington, that a ``Satisfaction Guaranteed'' sign posted in the Chungs' shop required them to meet his demands that they compensate him for the pants, which they denied losing.

``A reasonable consumer would not interpret `Satisfaction Guaranteed' to mean that a merchant is required to satisfy a customer's unreasonable demands or to accede to demands that the merchant has reasonable grounds to dispute,'' Bartnoff wrote in a 23-page opinion released today.

Pearson was ordered to pay the Chungs' court costs, but he also should be required to pay their legal fees, too. Unfortunately, however, this thing may not be over; Pearson just may appeal the ruling.


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Comments (17)

A 23 page opinion on someth... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

A 23 page opinion on something that should never have taken up the courts time. Roy Pearson should be forced to pay for all of the costs incurred by his nonsense. I would add punitive damages for filing a malicious law suit.

Roy got off lucky; imagine ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Roy got off lucky; imagine if he'd mislaid them himself.
================================

What type of pants were the... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

What type of pants were these that he required them for 'dispensing justice' ?

Our boys are dying over the... (Below threshold)
CharlieDontSurf:

Our boys are dying over there so this kind of crap can go on here? Shameful.

Mike, I think they needed c... (Below threshold)
kim:

Mike, I think they needed cleaning because he had dispensed some 'justice' into them.
============================

What type of pants... (Below threshold)
John in CA:
What type of pants were these that he required them for 'dispensing justice' ?

They were special pants; his favorites that he wanted to wear on his first day in his new job. They cost $400!

I think he originally asked... (Below threshold)
LAB:

I think he originally asked for a little over $1000 after the Chungs claimed the pants were found. So much for the "going for Double Jeopardy, where the scores can really change!"

This case illustrates a pro... (Below threshold)

This case illustrates a problem which has been around for a long time. Most of these cases aren't as outrageously ridiculous as this one, but there are far too many brought to the bar.

Virtually every jurisdiction allows judges to award defendants their costs AND legal fees upon finding of a "frivolous" filing, but this is very rarely used. It needs to be dusted off and put into practice.

This plaintiff was a judge handling his own suit, but most of the time the plaintiff is represented by attorneys working on contingency - they don't collect a fee unless they win an award for the client. For such lawyers, the court costs are minimal compared with the reward of a successful nuisance suit. If they were more often required to pay the opponent's legal fees - the attorneys, not the plaintiff himself, who usually has negligible assets in the first place - there would be far fewer of these silly filings.

It's got to be one of those... (Below threshold)
89:

It's got to be one of those RPGs, where you can add a gem to a garment to give it magical or protective features. You could have gloves of strength for example. For some strange reason, you couldn't add intelligence to headwear, so my friend ran around for a while in Pants of Intelligence. (He was the mage, I was the melee fighter.)

Looks like this judge took a -2 intelligence hit on those pants.

That's nothing, he's defini... (Below threshold)

That's nothing, he's definitely -5 Charisma and -8 Humanity.

They must have been Troll Slacks.

He said he originally had 5... (Below threshold)

He said he originally had 5 of these $1150 pairs of pants - one for each day at work. Amazingly this jerk turned down $12 grand - now he has nothing. To read all the horrible details read my post Roy Pearson is an Idiot

As a DDO addict, I can trul... (Below threshold)

As a DDO addict, I can truly appreciate the RPG comments :)

Woof! Planck's Constant.<b... (Below threshold)
kim:

Woof! Planck's Constant.
=================

I heard about this. The jer... (Below threshold)
jim:

I heard about this. The jerk in question is also judge, which may have kept this lawsuit from being laughed out of court earlier.

I hope what happens next is that he has to pay the dry-cleaners' legal fees, and what I would really love to see is him being charged with malicious prosecution. But I'm personally glad just to see this case get laughed out of court, as it should be.

As you are undoubtedly awar... (Below threshold)
legalreform:

As you are undoubtedly aware, a $54 million lawsuit was recently brought in DC District Court against a small neighborhood drycleaners over a pair of alleged lost trousers. While the Court found resoundingly in favor of the business owners, Jin and Soo Chung, their ordeal is not yet over--they have drained their saving accounts contesting this frivolous lawsuit, and they have racked up over $100,000 in legal expenses.

In order to help the Chungs defray their legal bills, ILR and the American Tort Reform Association are co-hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday evening, July 24 at 6 p.m. at the US Chamber Building in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, businesses large and small across America must deal every day with similar extortionist tactics from some plaintiffs' lawyers. The collective outcome is not justice, but lost jobs, ruined businesses and billions of dollars in lost economic opportunity. Additional details, sponsorship opportunities and easy online registration are available at www.chungfundraiser.com.

All the lawyers involved in... (Below threshold)
philip devos:

All the lawyers involved in this case were positioning themselves to wring out all the money they could from the defendants. This case should never have gained any traction, let alone suck as much money from the defendants to their unbelievably wonderful astonishingly terrific defending lawyer who was billing them all along while working hard to drag this case out as long as possible for as many billing hours as possible.

"Killing ALL THE LAWYERS" would be an appropriate measured appropriate first step.

The law profession must take great satisfaction in seeing this sort of JUSTICE done. I do not. I'm just an incredibly stupid engineer.

You reap what you sow. Just... (Below threshold)

You reap what you sow. Justice always prevail,
in heaven or earth. Roy don't be surprised if your life is miserable, it's just the beginning and one day you will remember what you did wrong to the Chungs. Maybe if you admit that you're wrong, maybe if you ask for the forgiveness of the Chungs and most of all maybe if you ask God's forgiveness, God might spare you. But the bible clearly says,

7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.-Galatians 6:7




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