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Plaintiff Who Lost Pants Loses $54 Million Lawsuit Against Dry Cleaner

In a ruling that's being widely hailed as one that restores some sanity to the legal system, a judge has dismissed as frivolous a lawsuit...
July 3, 2007

In a ruling that's being widely hailed as one that restores some sanity to the legal system, a judge has dismissed as frivolous a lawsuit seeking $54 million in damages filed by a man who says a neighborhood dry cleaners lost the pants from a suit and tried to give him a pair that were not his.

Roy L. Pearson's claim, reduced from $67 million, was based on a strict interpretation of the city's consumer protection law - which imposes fines of $1,500 per violation - as well as damages for inconvenience, mental anguish and attorney's fees for representing himself. Pearson is an administrative law judge. District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff last week decided that Pearson was not entitled to a penny, and in fact owes the Chung family, owners of Custom Cleaners in northeast Washington, D,C, about $1,000 in clerical court costs.

Chris Manning, the family's attorney, said a defense fund Web site for the Chungs has collected about $35,000 - only a fraction of about $100,000 in estimated defense costs they have incurred.

"This case was giving American justice a black eye around the world, and it was all the more upsetting because it was a judge and lawyer who was bringing the suit," said Paul Rothstein, a Georgetown University law professor. Rothstein said the ruling "restores one's confidence in the legal system."

Plaintiff Loses $54 Million Suit Against Dry Cleaner (Insurance Journal 6/27/07)

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