13 June 2007

Roy L Pearson in "The Wrong Trousers"

If someone seeks damages of $54m the expectation is that they have been dreadfully wronged, mutilated, slandered or something. $54m in respect of a pair of lost trousers would strike most people as a touch over the top. However, this is the amount claimed by American judge Roy L Pearson from a dry cleaning store that lost a pair of his trousers.

Pearson told a local court in Washington DC that Custom Cleaners should pay the sum because a "satisfaction guaranteed" sign deceived consumers who, like him, were dissatisfied with their experience. "You will search the records of the District of Columbia courts in vain for a case of more egregious or wilful misconduct," Pearson told D.C. Judge Judith Bartnoff.

The lawyer for the Korean immigrants who run the dry cleaner said Pearson was looking for a way to resolve his financial difficulties after a divorce."It's simply a frivolous lawsuit brought by an unhappy customer with a bone to pick," attorney Chris Manning said.

Pearson filed suit after the cleaners lost his trousers in 2005. Defendants Jin Chung, Soo Chung and Ki Chung said they located the pants a few days later, but Pearson said they were not his.

Pearson, who has rejected several settlement offers, counted 12 separate violations of a consumer-protection law over 1,200 days, multiplied by the three defendants. At $1,500 per day, that is $65 million. He has also sought $15,000 to rent a car to take his clothes to another cleaner for the next 10 years. He subsequently did reduce his claim to $54 million.

The case is expected to conclude today, hopefully with substantial embarrassment for the plaintiff. Okay having a dry cleaners lose your trousers is a pain and compensation is appropriate, but to claim over $50m in such circumstances is utterly stupid. I would have thought this suit should cast doubt over his suitability to continue as a judge

Update. Judge Bartnoff ruled against Pearson today (25 June). Click here for further news






UPDATE: the Chungs have sold the shop where the incident was alleged to have taken place. See here

19 comments:

Bryan said...

The man cried on the stand describing the loss of his trousers! He needs psychiatric aid, not money.

If you had paid $1,000 for a suit, would you take the trousers to a dry cleaners for alterations?

The guy needs to be locked up, and the case belonged in small claims court.

Anonymous said...

God Bless America!

Jen

jams o donnell said...

Pearson strikes me as being unhinged, Bryan. I think he needs help too!

Ah Jen, one nation under the gavel with lawsuits and shyters for all!

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Steve Bates said...

Was Pearson sober? I don't know about Washington, DC, but in Texas, the phrase "as sober as a judge" is usually spoken tongue-in-cheek...

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I find it touching that someone in Woodland Hills is so concerned about your dental health, jams.

The guy took this way too far, especially since he rebuffed all efforts at fair compensation by the dry cleaners. I heard that his chances of continuing on as a public figure is nil. Regular American people hate this frickin elitist attitude bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Small suggestion: The dry-cleaner should counter-sue for $54.000.010.50 and ask for a trial by jury. The judge will not only lose his pants in that trial.
lol

jams o donnell said...

I dont know Steve, but he wasn't taking his medication by looks of it.. crying over his trousers in court!

It really struck me as utterly ludicrous Ewbl. There has been an increase in litigiousness here but nothing of this sort!

He'll lose his shirt too anonymous!

Anonymous said...

For crying out loud. People please just burn his house, apartment, what ever. You know what i mean. I am sure many in D.C. can make his life so miserable that he would have to commit suicide and I vote yes on that one. Pure and simple. Or maybe send this asshole to Iraq maybe he will sue Hamas, Fatah for firing at him, lol. What a moron this guy is. Or just send him to Siberia. Oh I wish it was still possible.

jams o donnell said...

Oh come on that is a bit harsh. It does look like he needs help though

Nick Colbourne said...

In 1972 whilst at school, I lost a pair of shorts after rugby practice. The stress I have suffered since is immeasureable. It cost me my first marriage and both my children were born without any teeth!
I'd dearly love to sue the education dept of the London Borough of Sutton, but those gits at the legal aid board steadfastly refuse to bankroll my legitimate case. Is there no justice in this Godforesaken world?

jams o donnell said...

I'll put up a few bob to your case. I hated playing rugby at school so any chance of extending the suit to cover the London Borough of Havering!

Michael said...

The articles that I have read about Roy L. Pearson and his garbage laws suit is unbelieveable... and whats even worse is that after the case was heard and judged...the idiot still has a licence to practice law... and still is a judge? He has made a joke out of our legal system... and so has Judge Bartnoff for not making an example of this idiot.
I guess he needed some other sort of financial aid after he lost his case for support from his divorce.

jams o donnell said...

I must admit that I am surprised that this case ever was allowed to get to court Mike

Nick Colbourne said...

Thanks James....perhaps we could extend it to the sadist who intrduced cross country running too!

jams o donnell said...

And the bastard who invented the burpee or whatever it's called!

legalreform said...

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.

Anonymous said...

I am a black law student and I am ashamed. This case was brought up in a conversation today at the office and I still can't believe that this "judge" was able to get the case so far. He obviously planned the whole thing so that win or lose, he'll get paid at the end. He represented himself and requested to be paid millions of dollars for his own service for all the hours he put in it. Fortunately, thanks to some sense and rationality, he is no longer a judge. I hope he's a bum on the street now.

Carlo said...

Good JOb! :)