Court rules in favor of Dry Cleaners in $54 Million Pants Lawsuit

Does anyone know why he sued for so much money? Other than the fact he is an ass I mean? There must be some legal justification for it or they could sue him right back and win. They misplaced his pants but found them and returned them. Damages here?

Per the MSNBC article he based his damages on a consumer protection law that allows for damages to accrue on a daily basis, so he added up two years’ worth of “damages,” then threw about $2 million in common law claims on top.

He sued Mr. Drycleaner, Mrs. Drycleaner and Kid Drycleaner, for everyday their store had up a sign that read “Next Day Service” and for everyday they displayed a sign that read “Satisfaction Guaranteed”

I don’t recall the exact breakdown (except $500,000 for his legal fees and something like $16,000 for the cab fare he had to spend taking his pants to another cleaners for months) However, the lion’s share of it (on the order of $45,000,000) was to to establish some kind of agency designed to help other people file petty lawsuits-- err, that is, protect other people from fraudulent advertising and to help them sue if they are taken in by them.

I am still more amused by his misty-eyed performance on the stand when he recounted the heartbreak of losing his pants.

Here’s another article from the trial that goes into a little more detail on his claim. Apparently his claim was that because they put up signs that said “Satisfaction guaranteed” that under the district’s consumer protection laws any demand that he as a consumer made no matter what had to be fulfilled or it would trigger penalties.

Judge Judy’s brother?

Here’s a Washington Post article about the decision. It seems that compensatory claims from the drycleaners are going to be considered, that the judge’s ruling is not final about what will be done about the lawsuit that Pearson brought to bear. So we can hope that they’ll get compensation for the nightmare they’ve been put through.

I am pretty sure the judge didn’t think he’d win the case… I bet he did it because he knew the court process would bankrupt the cleaners and he wanted to put them out of business for his petty revenge.

What a douche.

This is going to cost him as well. He might get hit with sanctions and with their attorney’s fees. His contract to be an administrative law judge won’t be renewed and I doubt anyone else will hire him at this point.

Best paragraph in the linked article

That karma can sure be a bitch.

No question. I think that most members of the Bar, and an overwhelming majority of the public, will balk at the idea of letting such a publically mean-spirited person remain in the position of judge. If he’s as smart as I suspect he might be, I could almost feel some sympathy for him - here we have, in real life, a Shakespearean tragic figure who ought to know that his actions are going to ruin him, but still cannot give up his spite.


“Okay, I’ve got two jackets, three shirts, and a cashmere sweater. There’s a bit of a grass stain on this shirt. Also I lost a button on this jacket; can you take off the remaining buttons and replace all of them with a matching set? Black would be best. And, let’s see, your daughter there is pretty cute; how much to rent her for the weekend? Any chance you’d be willing to throw in the dog as well?”

Actually, this is an idea I can get behind in some cases. There is a little gas station down the road who could use a little of this action…

Between this and Nifong’s downfall, I’m starting to think the judicial system may make sense after all.

Dare I hope?

It costs nothing to hope. :wink:

More seriously, I’m less impressed with cases like this or Nifong’s downfall, to demonstrate the supposed health of the judicial system. It’s not the specific highs that I think the population should be worried about, it’s the overall level of abuse by officers of the court that should be considered.

It’s not that I even agree that there’s a general failure in the judicial system, anyways. Though I have my questions.

Honestly, I think that, unless this case is put to bed quickly, and with a substantial (and enforceble) award to the cleaners for their costs to defend against this puddle of crap, this story is going to be the poster child for tort reform for the next decade or two. And it’s such an egregious case, that I suspect the usual opponents of tort reform will be pushing for maximum penalties for Pearson, in an effort to “prove” that such an abuse via the legal system will be punished. It certainly seems to me that it would be in the best interests of those groups that oppose any change in the current tort system to see Pearson quashed for this.

But that doesn’t, IMNSHO, really address the general health (or lack thereof) of the tort system.

Dare I say they should sue the pants off him?

To me, the best news was a report on the local news this evening that the Chungs were so pleased by their victory that they’ve decided not to pack it in and move back to Korea after all. That was what pissed me off the most, was that this asshole was out to destroy this family and nearly managed to drive them not only out of business but out of the country. That’s just not right. So it’s good to see that justice, and of course the massive public support they’ve received, has helped them decide to remain.

But yes, this will be the poster child case for tort reform for sure, methinks. And not inappropriately so, either.

Why should this case be the poster child for tort reform?
The system worked! Even assholes get their day in court! The asshole didn’t win!

Am I being whooshed?

This has cost the Chung’s thousands of dollars to defend against a lawsuit that is quite literally insane. They offered to settle for $12,000 - because defending against this puddle of scum that Pearson brought to bear is so expensive to defend against. At the moment all they’ve been told is that they’ll be recompensed for their court costs. For the far more substantial costs of actually defending against this crap, they have to wait and see if they’ll be awarded compensation.

Once compensation is awarded there then comes the problem of actually getting any blood from that rock. Pearson is not in the best of financial health - if you look up thread there’s at least some reason to suspect he started this whole mess in an effort to recover financially from a devastating divorce. Without readily accessible assets the Chungs might achieve some compensatory judgement and still never see a dime from this piece of crap. As an example of the lengths some people will go to to avoid paying out compensation, look to Al Sharpton and his arguments that he owns nothing, so he doesn’t have to pay anything to Steven Pagones from the Tawana Brawley case.

This case looks so mean-spirited to me that I have some suspicion that OpalCat has the right of his motivations:

Pearson may not have won his suit, but if you read the articles leading up to this decision, it’s pretty clear that the financial strain on the Chungs has been incredible. At the moment, I’m of the opinion that the $12,000 offer for settlement is merely a tithe of what they’ve spent on defending themselves.

Finally, the awarding of compensatory claims, as part of the original lawsuit are, AIUI, very, very rare. Most people who bring worthless lawsuits like this to court don’t worry about being hit for even the court costs, which as has been mentioned upthread are a miniscule part of the cost of defending against even an insane lawsuit. There is, at this time, very little reason for plaintiffs or lawyers to worry about being punished for bringing baseless and frivolous suits against people.

So, to answer your question, I’m not sure what ‘reformed’ system would be better, but I do think that there’s something seriously messed up when a nutjob like this can take a family business hostage to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars to defend against a lawsuit with as much merit as this one.

So, its been established that any honest citizen can be bankrupted by the legal system,as easily as in the case of the Chungs. How does this sytem benefit anyone (except the lawyers, of course). If this incident doesn’t spur some meaningful tort reform, then be prepared for a BIG increase in the cost of services. the legal industry has been very cleaver in diverting attention from tort reform, but the fact is, this system costs all of us BILLIONS on extra costs, becuase businesses have to defend themselves against idiots like Judge Stoopid!