Dry Cleaners- 1, 54 Million Dollar Pants Guy - 0

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From CNN.com:http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/06/25/trouser.trial/index.html [QUOTE]WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A judge in the District of Columbia has dismissed a case against a dry cleaner who was sued for $54 million in damages over a pair of missing pants. Roy L. Pearson, an administrative law judge, originally sought $67 million from the Chung family, owners of Custom Cleaners. He claimed they lost a favorite pair of his suit trousers and later tried to give him a pair that were not his. Custom Cleaners did not violate the city's Consumer Protection Act by failing to live up to Pearson's expectations of the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign displayed in the store window, Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled. Pearson claimed that a sign was an unconditional warranty that required the defendants to honor any claim by any customer without limitation. He calculated the amount of damages by estimating years of violations, then adding almost $2 million in common-law claims for fraud. At a news conference in front of Custom Cleaners, Soo Chung said through an interpreter that she was "very pleased" with the verdict, adding that she and her husband have no plans to move back to Korea. When asked if she would accept Pearson as a future customer, Soo Chung said through her translator, "If he wants to continue to use our services, then yes, they would accept him as a customer." During the trial, the Chungs denied Pearson's allegations and insisted that the pants were the same pair he brought in to be altered in May 2005. Pearson represented himself during a two-day trial earlier this month and claimed millions of dollars in attorney fees and millions more in punitive damages for what he claimed was fraudulent advertising. Pearson said that when he took the pants to Custom Cleaners, his financial situation was ruinous. He had just been ordered to pay $12,000 in attorney's fees to his ex-wife and his credit cards were at their limit. The Chungs' attorney argued that no reasonable person would interpret the sign to mean an unconditional promise of satisfaction, and Bartnoff agreed. In a 23-page finding of fact, Bartnoff wrote: "A reasonable consumer would not interpret 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' to mean that a merchant is required to satisfy a customer's unreasonable demands or accede to demands that the merchant has reasonable grounds to dispute." Pearson had "not met his burden of proving that the pants the defendants attempted to return to him were not the pants he brought in for alteration," the judge concluded. Bartnoff awarded court costs to the Chungs, who have spent tens of thousands of dollars on the case. They are attempting to have their attorney's fees paid by Pearson. "Judge Bartnoff has spoken loudly in suggesting that, while consumers should be protected, abusive lawsuits like this will not be tolerated," said the Chungs' attorney, Chris Manning. "Judge Bartnoff has chosen common sense and reasonableness over irrationality and unbridled venom." Soo Chung said during the trial that "economically, emotionally and healthwise as well, it has been extremely hard for us." She started the business with her husband after they moved to the United States in 1992. It's not known whether Pearson will appeal the ruling.[/QUOTE]
 

ALS

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How much of a jerk does Roy Pearson feel like today? He has to be the laughing stock of the country club crowd he hangs with.
 
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This family running a cleaning business deserves protection from this kind of law suit. Pearson is a criminal and there should be a better remedy to shut people like Person up. The family may not have the resources to go after him in court and that's too bad. There should be a risk attached to this kind of criminal activity that is not based on the other parties financial ability to answer back. In some places Pearson would have had his jaw broken for pulling a stunt like this.
 
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Judge pearson should be disbarred. If he doesn't have any better grasp of the law than that. I don't care if he is "only" an administrative court judge. Dis-bar him and suggest he spend 6 months working gratis for the cleaners.
 
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Maybe suggest that he can be re-instated if the Chung's are satisfied with his performance during that 6 month period. Let him provide the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" warranty on his service to them.
 

JHZR2

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The lawyer's monopoly strikes again... Too expensive to use, can't afford to not use them. And we pay for the courts and infrastructure that they exercise their monopoly with. My father was recently hit by a lawyer. The guy actually fled from the scene after my father took his info. He essentially said to call the police, the governor, the cia, whatever... he is a lawyer, and would be glad to see my father in court. What a tool. The behavior of these people does not suprise me. JMH
 

Al

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The lawyer's monopoly strikes again..
Nothing surprises me about our (il) "legal" system anymore. The Chung's legal expenses are over 100,000 dollars. If the Trial Lawyers association had any soul (which they don't) they would reimburse the Chungs
 
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Car accidents are the worst. No one doesn't want to accept responsibility for their actions. You almost have to get a lawyer to get anything done and they are paid extraorbinant fees. Lawyers win.
 

JHZR2

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Car accidents are the worst. No one doesn't want to accept responsibility for their actions. You almost have to get a lawyer to get anything done and they are paid extraorbinant fees. Lawyers win.
Yep, exactly. This is what happened to me when my MB was smashed in a more than obvious at-fault case. between Between the Lqawyers' monopoly making it tough to get anything done, and and progressive insurance's terrible behaviour and actions, it disgusted me. In the end, the opposing lawyers complimented me at how well I wrote and performed all of my own procedure. For good reason. Though I know this is offensive, and I apologize in advance for saying this, but I am convinced that the average lawyer is an idiot compared to many other 'professional' carreers... and especially so given their pay. I find that poor value, and hate the situation that they have provided for themselves. From my experience, the typical 'value' that a lawyer provides is nothing more than knowing how to perform the 'procedure' that is required to exercise the setup of the court system, and make documents robust enough to hold up in same. From what I have seen, a trained monkey can do most of it... and unfortunately, the public servants who do the lawyers' monopoly's bidding in the courthouses and legal librares of the counties and states everywhere make it tough for the common man to exercise same, thus our own system is little more than an entity allowing said monopoly to contiunue squeezing more dimes from the common man. Talk about a system where accessibility and openeness is not realized... what a messed up system. The $100k bill that the cleaners' lawyers will be taking for this is proof enough... JMH
 
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"The $100k bill that the cleaners' lawyers will be taking for this is proof enough... " Almost make you think they're kicking back to the judge just to keep him motivated! Bob
 

ALS

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I read that Pearson has to reemburse the Chungs for all their legal expenses. I figure the Judge slammed Pearson for pulling this garbage and making a joke out of the legal system. This is what should have happened with the lady that spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald's because it was hot.
 
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We need more Chungs and fewer Pearsons. Years ago I helped a Cambodian family get their donut shop started. I met them when I was on my all expenses paid vacation to Vietnam and Cambodia in the 60's. They are very hard workers and honest beyond question. They were sued by a patron that claimed there was a dead fly in his cream filled donut. The lawyer for the donut shop discoverd that this person had three other suits for insects in his food over the past ten years. The case went into the toilet and the donut shop lawyer recovered all his cost from the other party. If they had to pay the $250k it would have been the end of one donut shop. I can't imagine paying millions of dollars for a pair of pants. I hate to say it but even I would give up my pants for a lot less than Pearson's demand.
 

Al

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I read that Pearson has to reemburse the Chungs for all their legal expenses.
No..just court costs. They are still 100K bucks in the hole (as mentioned above).
 

ALS

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I read that Pearson has to reimburse the Chungs for all their legal expenses.
No..just court costs. They are still 100K bucks in the hole (as mentioned above).
If they have business liability insurance the insurance company would be on the hook for the $100K. I had a scammer try something on me back 1994 the idiot and the lawyer backed down 30 minutes before court was to start. I guess when they realized we could easily prove insurance fraud they knew the game was up. My insurance company picked up all the legal costs. I didn't have to come up with one penny. You see in most cases the insurance company settles right away if it is under $15K. It costs a minimum of $7,500 just for their lawyers to prepare and show up for the first day of court. I've had situations where I have taught my managers to always say no problem just give us the information and we will turn it over to the insurance company. Funny how these people vanish out of our lives never to be seen again.
 
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its stuff like this that give my area (washington, dc) a bad name. i dont think this lawsuit would have even been entertained anywhere else in the us. it would have been dismissed immediately.
 
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