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View Full Version : The man who sued his dry-cleaner for $65,465,500


BoyBach
May 3, 2007, 03:54 PM
...

Roy Pearson is the man behind this unlikely lawsuit, that hints at the lunacy that sometimes grips the litigation process in this most litigious of countries. Mr Pearson is a regular customer of the Chungs' dry-cleaning business, located between an off-licence and a Chinese take-away in a strip mall in east Washington, but moreover, Mr Pearson knows a thing or two about the law; he is an administrative judge with the city authorities.

The twisting tale of Mr Pearson's missing trousers began in the spring of 2005 when he had been appointed to his current position and was about to take up his position on the bench. According to court papers filed by Mr Pearson, he discovered that five Hickey Freeman suits that he took out of his cupboard were "uncomfortably tight".

He asked the Chungs to do some alterations on the waistbands of the trousers, asking them to let them out by two or three inches. He decided he would take them in for alteration one at a time. Mr Pearson claims that when he took in the grey trousers with red stripes for the $10.50 alteration on 3 May 2005, he was told they would be ready for him to wear when he started work on 6 May. But on 5 May they were not ready to be picked up and when he called back the following morning he was told that the trousers had been misplaced. The loss of the trousers and his inability to wear them for his first proud day in court caused him "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort", claims Mr Pearson.

The Chungs, who have had their business for 12 years, agreed to compensate Mr Pearson for his loss, offering first $3,000 and then $4,600. Mr Pearson declined such offers and the Chungs raised their offer to $12,000, many times more than the $800 Mr Pearson says he paid for the trousers. But the judge even refused that amount. Instead he used his knowledge of the city's statutes to come up with the eye-watering compensation claim that has led observers to claim that the case reveals some of the worst aspects of the US litigation system and highlights the need for urgent reform.

Mr Pearson based his $65,462,500 claim on two signs that the Chungs had hung inside their dry-cleaning store. One of the signs read "Satisfaction Guaranteed" while the other said "Same-Day Service". Based on these signs Mr Pearson has argued that he is entitled to $1,500 per violation - that is $1,500 for each of the 120 days that the two signs were in the Chungs' store. (He is also multiplying each violation by three because he is suing Mr and Mrs Chung and their son.) He has added to that $500,000 for "emotional damages" and $542,500 in legal fees, even though he is representing himself. And in an ingenious way to get even more money out of the Chungs, he has asked for $15,000 to cover the cost of hiring a rental car at weekends for the next 10 years. He bases this final element of his sought-for compensation package on the argument that having shown themselves to be unreliable, the Chungs have forced him to drive to an alternative dry-cleaners to take care of his weekly laundry needs for the foreseeable future.

...

The final twist to the story of Mr Pearson's misplaced trousers is that - according to the Chungs - they turned up a few days after they went missing. Mr Pearson denies they are the same pair of trousers but the Chungs and their lawyer, Mr Manning, are adamant. Mr Manning said the trousers were currently being held in a place of "safe keeping".

- Independent (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2504644.ece)


If you'll excuse the jingoism: Only in the USA!

FF_productions
May 3, 2007, 03:58 PM
LOL this guy is ridiculous!

Bern
May 3, 2007, 04:17 PM
Maybe it's worth staying in the U.S.A to make a quick buck? :rolleyes: Suckers!

emanaydin
May 3, 2007, 04:20 PM
that's unbelievable! The day he went home and thought all that through, he must have been going crazy around the house.. The $500,000 he charged for "emotional" break down or w/e is probably from him tossing **** around his house and breaking ****

mac 2005
May 3, 2007, 04:25 PM
If you'll excuse the jingoism: Only in the USA!

At the risk of being labeled a Chauvinist, I won't excuse the jingoism. An example to the rule is just that, an example. If a country has a legal system predicated on the notion that every person is entitled to his/her day in court, then there will be people who take advantage of the system. The fault, in this case, rests with the person filing the lawsuit and does not serve as an indictment of the American legal system.

Finally, "Only in ..." has to be the most open-ended, over-used statement of all time. You can pretty much fill in the blank, as with most doctor/lawyer jokes.

BoyBach
May 3, 2007, 04:28 PM
At the risk of being labeled a Chauvinist, I won't excuse the jingoism. An example to the rule is just that, an example. If a country has a legal system predicated on the notion that every person is entitled to his/her day in court, then there will be people who take advantage of system. The fault, in this case, rests with the person filing the lawsuit and does serve as an indictment of the American legal system.

Finally, "Only in ..." has to be the most open-ended, over-used statement of all time. You can pretty much fill in the blank, as with most doctor/lawyer jokes.


A case of 'lost in translation', me thinks.

:p

j26
May 3, 2007, 04:31 PM
I'd have sued for shoe leather costs too - I mean all that wear and tear back and forth to get his trousers. Really, not ensuring he's properly compensated for all losses :eek:

They say a lawyer who represents him/herself has a fool for a client. Here is living proof.

IJ Reilly
May 3, 2007, 04:35 PM
A case of 'lost in translation', me thinks.

Methinks otherwise.

This is a funny story, but it is indicative of nothing except how weird people can be sometimes.

mac 2005
May 3, 2007, 04:53 PM
Methinks otherwise.

This is a funny story, but it is indicative of nothing except how weird people can be sometimes.

Agreed.

I must say, though, in response to the OP: I'm not clear how a clear expression of contempt for the American legal system is a statement that's "lost in translation." (Statements such as "Only in the U.S.A." betray cynicism; they do not create an open dialogue.)

For the record, abuses like this one annoy me, but I can guarantee you that they happen in every country in the world with a democratically elected government and a legitimate judicial system. The penalties for filing "frivolous" lawsuits vary and there are varying points of entry for people into said legal system, but I'd rather the point of entry be too low than too high. It's far easier to correct excesses than right abuses.

Diatribe
May 3, 2007, 04:55 PM
Agreed.

I must say, though, in response to the OP: I'm not clear how a clear expression of contempt for the American legal system is a statement that's "lost in translation."

For the record, abuses like this one annoy me, but I can guarantee you that they happen in every country in the world with a democratically elected government and a legitimate judicial system. The penalties for filing "frivolous" lawsuits vary and there are varying points of entry for people into said legal system, but I'd rather the point of entry be too low than too high. It's far easier to correct excesses than right abuses.

Well, unfortunately often enough people succeed with frivolous lawsuits. Just think of the woman that burned her legs with hot coffee because of her own stupidity and got millions from McDonalds...:rolleyes:

PlaceofDis
May 3, 2007, 04:57 PM
read about this earlier. just insane. i hope the guy loses and has to pay these poor people back for their loss of time/money/and emotional distress caused by stupidity.

yellow
May 3, 2007, 04:59 PM
I wouldn't call myself the most patriotic of folks, but it sometimes confuses me why I get so uptight when people repeatedly bash the US. Sure, it's not perfect and it's got it's fair share of foolishness.. but it's a HUGE country with 300 million people!! Statistically, there's bound to be shenanigans! Again, not sure why I should care..

mac 2005
May 3, 2007, 05:02 PM
Well, unfortunately often enough people succeed with frivolous lawsuits. Just think of the woman that burned her legs with hot coffee because of her own stupidity and got millions from McDonalds...:rolleyes:

The sad thing about that case is how little people know about the particulars. As I recall, there were a few issues there.

1. The lid on the coffee cup was not properly attached--nor could it be because of a design flaw
2. The coffee was more than 200 degrees--far hotter than coffee is meant to be served and hot enough to cause bodily injury

Now, here are two examples of frivolous lawsuits:

1. Apple records suing Apple Computer (Where: England)
2. The overweight man who sued McDonald's for his excessive weight (Where: US o' A)

etoiles
May 3, 2007, 05:05 PM
great, and this guy is a judge?! :eek:

BoyBach
May 3, 2007, 05:07 PM
Jeez, I think I'll keep my trap shut in future!

:rolleyes:

mac 2005
May 3, 2007, 05:07 PM
I wouldn't call myself the most patriotic of folks, but it sometimes confuses me why I get so uptight when people repeatedly bash the US. Sure, it's not perfect and it's got it's fair share of foolishness.. but it's a HUGE country with 300 million people!! Statistically, there's bound to be shenanigans! Again, not sure why I should care..

I think the reason is simple. Rather than sharing the story so we could all have a laugh at the nonsense of the case, the OP uses it as a foundation on which to indict an entire nation. "Only in the USA" certainly ranks low on the insult scale, but the OP uses it to lump all Americans in the same boat as person filing the lawsuit.

yellow
May 3, 2007, 05:08 PM
I think it should also be noted that just because someone sues for $X, doesn't mean they get that amount. The judge may rule in favor of the man, but only give him $500 for the cost of the trousers. I don't think anyone in the world REALLY thinks he could get $65mil out of a dry cleaner.

I think the reason is simple. Rather than sharing the story so we could all have a laugh at the nonsense of the case, the OP uses it as a foundation on which to indict an entire nation. "Only in the USA" certainly ranks low on the insult scale, but the OP uses it to lump all Americans in the same boat as person filing the lawsuit.

That works for me.

BoyBach
May 3, 2007, 05:10 PM
I'm sorry that my comments have caused you offence.

atszyman
May 3, 2007, 05:12 PM
great, and this guy is a judge?! :eek:

I think this should immediately open the door to have his sanity evaluated.

$0.5 million pain and suffering for not having a particular pair of pants for a day of work? I might reward myself with a cup of coffee on a day that bad, not half a million dollars.

j26
May 3, 2007, 05:13 PM
He rejected a settlement offer of $12,000. If a court awards him less, he could be faced with paying their legal bill (at least that's how it works over here - if you refuse a settlement and get awarded less, you have wasted court time and have to pay your opponents costs).

yellow
May 3, 2007, 05:14 PM
$0.5 million pain and suffering for not having a particular pair of pants for a day of work? I might reward myself with a cup of coffee on a day that bad, not half a million dollars.

You've clearly never worn assless chaps.

Abstract
May 3, 2007, 05:16 PM
Methinks otherwise.

This is a funny story, but it is indicative of nothing except how weird people can be sometimes.

Yes, people from other countries have sued for weird reasons as well, but the US is home of the frivolous lawsuit. It's as American as apple pie. People just like to laugh at these cases, and your country supplies many of the "haha"s, that's all.

Diatribe
May 3, 2007, 05:18 PM
The sad thing about that case is how little people know about the particulars. As I recall, there were a few issues there.

1. The lid on the coffee cup was not properly attached--nor could it be because of a design flaw
2. The coffee was more than 200 degrees--far hotter than coffee is meant to be served and hot enough to cause bodily injury

Now, here are two examples of frivolous lawsuits:

1. Apple records suing Apple Computer (Where: England)
2. The overweight man who sued McDonald's for his excessive weight (Where: US o' A)

Even if the coffee hadn't had a lid at all, coffee is hot, you don't put it between your legs while driving. And besides, who decides at what temperature coffee is served? You should KNOW coffee is hot and can burn you.

atszyman
May 3, 2007, 05:21 PM
You've clearly never worn assless chaps.

Well not to work. The article stated he took his pants in 1 pair at a time so presumably he had at least one pair of assed pants at home to wear to work. That's the cost of the pants + dry cleaning bills for a week/month for compensation, not $0.5 million.

yellow
May 3, 2007, 05:22 PM
Well not to work.

Snicker.. :)


Maybe we're all looking at this wrong and should instead be decrying the existance of the lawyers eager to profit (win or loose) from this foolishness?

atszyman
May 3, 2007, 05:23 PM
Even if the coffee hadn't had a lid at all, coffee is hot, you don't put it between your legs while driving. And besides, who decides at what temperature coffee is served? You should KNOW coffee is hot and can burn you.

The car was stopped, the cup was flimsy, McDonald's had a history of complaints about the temperature they had chosen to ignore, and the severity of the burns led to the lawsuit/rulings. It's not as simple as an idiot spilling coffee while driving and experiencing some discomfort.

Queso
May 3, 2007, 05:25 PM
great, and this guy is a judge?! :eek:
I witnessed a lawyer walk out in front of a van in London which didn't quite stop in time and lightly hit him. Anyone normal would have been embarrassed and gone on their way, but the lawyer immediately went red in the face and started screaming at the van driver all number of obscenities, until the van driver got out and smacked him one, right in the face, in the middle of the street. So lawyer immediately starts trying to collect names and addresses from bystanders as witnesses to an assault. Everybody just told him to stop being an arse, and that he walked out in front of the van, but he wouldn't have it.

There's something about a career in law that does that to people. The higher up the chain they go, the more they believe that they are 100% right at all times. I wish Mr. Chung every success in fighting this nonsense and hope the Judge gets to learn some humility.

sthpark7791
May 3, 2007, 05:34 PM
Saw this on the local news. Hopefully it goes well for the cleaners and the man be cursed with man-eating pants- or something. :)

yellow
May 3, 2007, 05:36 PM
the man be cursed with man-eating pants- or something. :)

Hmmm pants that eat him, or he has to eat pants?
Either way, that would be pretty neat to see.

killr_b
May 3, 2007, 05:48 PM
Hmm, I think I'd try to focus more on the "satisfaction guaranteed" sign, and then on the "same day service" sign. Which is what I think he did, although he went nukin' crzy!$$$!! on the compensation for each day. I might be apt to charge them the cost of the dry cleaning for every day… so like $11 x 120 days = $1,320. And I don't see how he would be suing them personally…

$12,000 sounds about right… ;) :D

Chip NoVaMac
May 3, 2007, 06:53 PM
There was an excellent editorial in the Washington Post today:

IS THERE anything more absurd than someone pursuing a $65 million lawsuit over a lost pair of pants? Well, how about this same person being in a position to adjudicate the cases of other people? Or that there's a chance of his getting a new 10-year term as judge?

A panel of four D.C. officials is considering the reappointment of administrative law judge Roy L. Pearson Jr. in light of devastating publicity about a court case he brought. As reported by Post columnist Marc Fisher, Mr. Pearson wants his local dry cleaner to pay him millions of dollars for the "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort" caused by the loss of his pants as well as for his legal costs. The unfortunate people being sued by Mr. Pearson say that they offered reimbursement, tried to settle and even ended up finding what they believe are the pants. But Mr. Pearson persisted with his outrageous demands, and the owners of Custom Cleaners say they incurred staggering legal bills. A trial is set for next month; we hope a judge will finally inject some sense into proceedings that have already taken ludicrous amounts of time.

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That Mr. Pearson was able to persist in such a case raises questions about D.C. consumer protection laws. The American Tort Reform Association said that city law, while well intentioned, is so loosely worded that it allows abuse. D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer and the D.C. Council need to take a look.

Equally serious is whether Mr. Pearson should continue in his $100,512 job adjudicating alleged civil infractions of D.C. rules. The case raises serious questions about his judgment and temperament. Moreover, this is not the first case involving Mr. Pearson that has raised such questions. The Virginia Court of Appeals, in a 2005 review of Mr. Pearson's divorce proceedings, upheld findings that he created "unnecessary litigation" in a relatively simple case and was responsible for "excessive driving up" of legal costs.

As the four-member judicial tenure commission considers another term for Mr. Pearson, it should think back to why the Office of Administrative Hearings was created in the first place: to increase public confidence in the system of administrative justice.

It is sad that there are a few attorneys out there (at least here in the US) with attitudes that seem to seem to be exhibited in this case - and that gives attorneys that are hard working conscientious a bad name.

As the editorial points out Mr. Pearson had findings against him in his divorce about " "unnecessary litigation" in a relatively simple case and was responsible for "excessive driving up" of legal costs.".

The difficult part of this story for many here in the local area is what seems to be abuse of "power" being used by Mr. Pearson. As an attorney he can spend as much time as he wants on this case, at little if no cost - except for clients that he might not be able to assist while he pursues his own case against the cleaners.

A normal citizen could also have filed an identical lawsuit against the cleaners finding an attorney that would work on the basis of recovery. Yet that attorney would not have (at least in IMO and many others it seems) taken it to the excess that Mr. Pearson feels that his missing pants are worth.

In water cooler talk here in the DC area, there does seem to be a resentment of attorneys being able to represent themselves in civil damages cases. And in some ways there is admiration for the cleaners to spend what they have so far in defending themselves against this lawsuit.

As much as I dislike Judge Judy, I want her to hear and settle this case. I have hopes that she at least has some common sense.....

thequicksilver
May 3, 2007, 06:54 PM
Now, here are two examples of frivolous lawsuits:

1. Apple records suing Apple Computer (Where: England)

So frivolous that Apple Corps won two of the three cases. Nice example…

CanadaRAM
May 3, 2007, 07:14 PM
At the risk of being labeled a Chauvinist, I won't excuse the jingoism. An example to the rule is just that, an example. If a country has a legal system predicated on the notion that every person is entitled to his/her day in court, then there will be people who take advantage of the system. The fault, in this case, rests with the person filing the lawsuit and does not serve as an indictment of the American legal system.

Finally, "Only in ..." has to be the most open-ended, over-used statement of all time. You can pretty much fill in the blank, as with most doctor/lawyer jokes.

Nope, this time it really is a case of Only in the USA.

In almost every other country with law based on the British system, the Court can assess costs against the losing party in the lawsuit (Loser Pay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loser_pays_system)). So if you sue me for no reason in Canada and lose, not only don't you win your claim, but the judge can 'fine' you the cost of MY lawyers. This is a significant DIS-incentive for frivolous lawsuits, because there is a downside. It also means that I am less likely to be financially ruined by defending myself successfully, so as a defendant I am less likely to cave in and settle (even if I am blameless) for fear of the cost of defence.

In the US, there isn't this disincentive, so it's open season for plaintiffs, and lawyers who push suits on contingency (that is, the lawyer doesn't charge the plaintiff for their services, but does get a large percentage of any award). So there is a sub-culture of lawyers who play Lawsuit Lottery looking for the big payoff. In some countries contingent fees (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contingent_fee) are not permitted.

Also, with virtually unlimited punitive damages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punitive_damages) for civil cases in many states in the USA (unlike other countries), the payoff from suing an entity with deep pockets can be huge. Many countries (and some states) limit or forbid punitive or exemplary awards in contract and civil cases.

http://www.overlawyered.com/

mac 2005
May 3, 2007, 07:16 PM
So frivolous that Apple Corps won two of the three cases. Nice example…

Winning a lawsuit does not equate to being right, just as being declared "not guilty" does not equate to being "innocent."

To the point of Apple v. Apple, is it really logical to think there was confusion in the marketplace.

Hypothetical consumer No. 1: Where's my receipt? I bought this copy of "Meet the Beatles," and it doesn't seem able to connect to the Internet or run spreadsheets.

Hypothetical consumer No. 2: Hey! What gives. I bought this MacBook computer, and "Ticket to Ride" doesn't appear anywhere. For $1,499, this "record" should have all of the Beatles songs.

blackstone
May 3, 2007, 07:16 PM
The car was stopped, the cup was flimsy, McDonald's had a history of complaints about the temperature they had chosen to ignore, and the severity of the burns led to the lawsuit/rulings. It's not as simple as an idiot spilling coffee while driving and experiencing some discomfort.

Also, one major reason for the high award the jury gave is that the McDonald's lawyer was a real jerk. Because of where the coffee spilled, the woman ended up with some pretty bad burns in her private parts. In arguing for a low damages figure, the McDonald's lawyer argued that because she was elderly, she had no use for that part of her body anyways. Part of the reason why the jury gave such a high award is that they were outraged by the McDonald's lawyer's comments...

gnasher729
May 3, 2007, 07:51 PM
Well, unfortunately often enough people succeed with frivolous lawsuits. Just think of the woman that burned her legs with hot coffee because of her own stupidity and got millions from McDonalds...:rolleyes:

Please tell us about that case. Never heard of it. I have heard that McDonalds has paid compensation to a few hundred people all in all because McDonalds used to serve coffee that was dangerously hot (about 30 degrees hotter than it should be), which turned what should have been a harmless accident into major injuries, and continued with this practice after they had been warned repeatedly of the danger.

So here is your challenge: Find a documented case where someone burned their legs with hot coffee through their own stupidity and got millions from McDonalds. I'd bet that you won't find one.

Nope, this time it really is a case of Only in the USA.

Adding to your post, in Germany suing someone for an amount of money means that lawyer fees are set according to that amount; in this case I would say about $1 million for plaintiff, defense and court each. Loser pays. And who is loser is determined by the amount the plaintiff asked for, compared to what he received.

A German judge would probably tell the dry cleaner to refund the payment completely, plus the cost of renting a pair of trousers for the days they were missing, then tell the plaintiff to pay cost for court and lawyers of about $1million each. :p

JNB
May 3, 2007, 07:57 PM
So here is your challenge: Find a documented case where someone burned their legs with hot coffee through their own stupidity and got millions from McDonalds. I'd bet that you won't find one.

The Real Stella (http://www.stellaawards.com/stella.html/)

As an added note (and as is also usually the case), the award was substantially reduced. Nobody likes to follow up, just point and go, "lookie, lookie!"...

cycocelica
May 3, 2007, 10:46 PM
this guy is a complete moron. I hope he loses and has to pay that much to the cleaners and is disbarred. I hope this man doesn't reproduce either.

mustard
May 4, 2007, 12:39 AM
I really hope that the community evaluates there local legal system, since he is a judge.

Re-GD-Dicoulus

GeeYouEye
May 4, 2007, 01:40 AM
He ought to be hung with his pants, drawn, and quartered with a hanger.

Or at least forced to pay legal fees and disbarred.

sk3pt1c
May 4, 2007, 02:40 AM
i have to agree that this is an "only in the US" case,
the absurdity of these law suits is unbelievable!
coffee is meant to be hot, pay attention to that fact!
it's like everyone has suddenly turned into babies that don't
yet know what's hot or not (for example)
"how am i supposed to know that coffee is hot?"
law suit!
i think the problem lies in that there is no human contact
in urban US areas.
instead of calmly discussing with the other party and finding a solution,
you just run to a lawyer to get as much money from them as possible.
you guys have lost your sense of community, no one cares about
the person next to them, only about their own pockets.
i'm not saying this is not the case elsewhere, but when you have the legal
system to support this and precedent of idiots like this judge filing crazy lawsuits, then you know what's gonna happen...
i don't think this represents every american, i hope there are lots of you that do care for the person next to them and like human contact and trying to solve problems by way of discussion...
nevertheless, you must realise that this issue has made its way around the world and has made the u.s. know as the country of the frivolous lawsuit, like someone else said.
not to mention all other things everyone else hates you for.. :)

Bigheadache
May 4, 2007, 02:56 AM
i have to agree that this is an "only in the US" case,
the absurdity of these law suits is unbelievable!
coffee is meant to be hot, pay attention to that fact!
it's like everyone has suddenly turned into babies that don't
yet know what's hot or not (for example)
"how am i supposed to know that coffee is hot?"
law suit!
i think the problem lies in that there is no human contact
in urban US areas.
instead of calmly discussing with the other party and finding a solution,
you just run to a lawyer to get as much money from them as possible.
you guys have lost your sense of community, no one cares about
the person next to them, only about their own pockets.
i'm not saying this is not the case elsewhere, but when you have the legal
system to support this and precedent of idiots like this judge filing crazy lawsuits, then you know what's gonna happen...
i don't think this represents every american, i hope there are lots of you that do care for the person next to them and like human contact and trying to solve problems by way of discussion...
nevertheless, you must realise that this issue has made its way around the world and has made the u.s. know as the country of the frivolous lawsuit, like someone else said.
not to mention all other things everyone else hates you for.. :)

Whilst we could endlessly debate about the lack of responsibility or community or whatever in the US, the quick answer to fix all of this is for the US to adopt the loser pays system that we see in Australia (and Canada as CanadaRAM mentioned). People won't file frivolous lawsuits if there is the risk that they will be up for the other party's legal fees if they lose. Companies sometimes also choose to settle suits quickly rather than fight them, even if they have a great case because the cost of all the legal fees means they are better off setlling quickly. A loser pays system will mean that companies can fight the case if they believe it has no merit without fear of huge legal fees.

Abstract
May 4, 2007, 07:48 AM
To the point of Apple v. Apple, is it really logical to think there was confusion in the marketplace.


I get the Beatles and Apple confused all the time.

In fact, one time, I thought I was buying a computer, and I ended up with a $1400 Beatles collection. To add insult to injury, I tried to look at photos on my camera, but I couldn't!

B..B...Beatles? Apple? Are they the same? Oh, my mind hurts! My simple brain can't fully comprehend all of this. Hey look, there's a window. *run run run*....JUMP!!


Hey look, now my family can sue Paul McCartney because of all the confusion!

dornoforpyros
May 4, 2007, 07:56 AM
Oh this is reasonable, I know every time I lose a pair of $800 pants I sue for millions and millions.

This reminds me of Gob on Arrested Development when he keeps going on about the price of the suit he's wearing

"Oh yeah, look at me, the guy in a $3000 suit is holding the elevator for a guy who doesn't make that in a month"

And this judge was having these pants taken out, so it's reasonable to assume he's gained some weight recently.

Man this judge must be dead inside. $800 pants, weight gain and obviously too much time on his hands. Sucks to be him

Queso
May 4, 2007, 07:57 AM
Hey look, now my family can sue Paul McCartney because of all the confusion!
I hope they pay attention. Otherwise they may sue Steve Jobs by mistake :eek:

IJ Reilly
May 4, 2007, 11:18 AM
Nope, this time it really is a case of Only in the USA.

In almost every other country with law based on the British system, the Court can assess costs against the losing party in the lawsuit (Loser Pay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loser_pays_system)). So if you sue me for no reason in Canada and lose, not only don't you win your claim, but the judge can 'fine' you the cost of MY lawyers. This is a significant DIS-incentive for frivolous lawsuits, because there is a downside. It also means that I am less likely to be financially ruined by defending myself successfully, so as a defendant I am less likely to cave in and settle (even if I am blameless) for fear of the cost of defence.

Winning defendants in lawsuits can be awarded court and legal costs in U.S. courts, too. So... what was your word? Nope.

IJ Reilly
May 4, 2007, 11:21 AM
So frivolous that Apple Corps won two of the three cases. Nice example…

I believe that none of these cases were ever adjudicated.

CanadaRAM
May 4, 2007, 11:33 AM
Winning defendants in lawsuits can be awarded court and legal costs in U.S. courts, too. So... what was your word? Nope.

Can be, not are mandated to be -- big difference. Usually, the defendent has to countersue.

IJ Reilly
May 4, 2007, 11:45 AM
Can be, not are mandated to be -- big difference. Usually, the defendent has to countersue.

The defendant does not have to countersue. The defendant files a petition with the judge. If he or she determines that a suit is frivolous or a plaintiff is vexatious, then the defendant can be awarded court costs and legal fees. I have seen even this system abused by defendants, so no way would I want it to be mandatory.

ejb190
May 4, 2007, 12:03 PM
This case really makes me mad. After all, the cleaners did try to make things right. I get really tired of stupid lawsuits that end up costing the public a ton of money. I read somewhere that a ladder would cost half of what it does if it were not for all the warning stickers that have to put on them and the lawsuits that resulted in such labeling.

latergator116
May 4, 2007, 12:12 PM
I hope he loses the case, has to pay back the dry-cleaning business for wasting their time, then loses his job as a judge. It would also be nice to see him get some jail time just to send a message that this is not acceptable. This case is not much different from someone trying to rob a bank, and should be treated as such.

Swarmlord
May 4, 2007, 12:35 PM
It's cases like this that are going to spoil the tort system for people that actually need financial redress.

Gymnut
May 4, 2007, 01:48 PM
Man, what a "Dee dee dee". I hope to see Carlos do a skit on this.

Lord Blackadder
May 5, 2007, 12:02 AM
If there is any justice in the world, this scumbag will be fined for the half million he claimed as legal fees and disbarred. He should be flipping burgers for the rest of his life. :mad:

blueflame
May 5, 2007, 12:24 AM
Apple Inc. With all the qwirks, I love my Country. Period. I hope you love yours as well.
A
Yes, people from other countries have sued for weird reasons as well, but the US is home of the frivolous lawsuit. It's as American as apple pie. People just like to laugh at these cases, and your country supplies many of the "haha"s, that's all.

IJ Reilly
May 5, 2007, 10:33 AM
Yes indeed, if you repeatedly fire a shotgun, eventually you will hit something.

Les Kern
May 6, 2007, 05:45 PM
Well, unfortunately often enough people succeed with frivolous lawsuits. Just think of the woman that burned her legs with hot coffee because of her own stupidity and got millions from McDonalds...:rolleyes:

She got nothing, but the final chapter is NEVER told to us by the media. Do an internet search for the REAL cost of frivolous lawsuits... it's a whopping 3% of the rise. The real reason rates are so high?
The bond market.

These crazy lawsuits ALWAYS make the news since they are, well, crazy, and that's what dumb American's crave, and that's how the media makes money... by having people watch.

Look it up instead of believing what they tell you! :)

yg17
Jun 25, 2007, 11:53 AM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19414287/

Yay, theres some hope left for our legal system!

mkrishnan
Jun 25, 2007, 11:56 AM
That jerk judge who started this fracas should have to pay for the legal system's costs also... such frivolous litigation.... :rolleyes:

PlaceofDis
Jun 25, 2007, 11:56 AM
my goodness, there is some glimmer of hope in this world after all.

yg17
Jun 25, 2007, 12:11 PM
Wirelessly posted (HTCP4350-Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; PPC))

That jerk judge who started this fracas should have to pay for the legal system's costs also... such frivolous litigation.... :rolleyes:

ditto. he should also be disbarred for pulling crap like this.

calculus
Jun 25, 2007, 12:13 PM
the suit was just pants

steamboat26
Jun 25, 2007, 12:21 PM
i'm shocked! Where's the justice?!?!?! :eek:
That man lost seconds of his precious time, and an invaluable pair of pants, causing psycholigical and emotional damage because of the negligence of that dry cleaner :D
He should sue again for $100 million :D

xsedrinam
Jun 25, 2007, 03:40 PM
the suit was just pants
Which proves, with just pants, there should be no suit.
I feel for the Chung family though. They're just trying to make an honest living.
Here's hoping Pearson gets disrobed.

EricNau
Jun 25, 2007, 05:03 PM
This is very good news.

I wonder how much the judge will have to pay in legal fees to the defendants. ...I hope it's a lot.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 25, 2007, 05:16 PM
This is very good news.

I wonder how much the judge will have to pay in legal fees to the defendants. ...I hope it's a lot.


The lawyer for the defendants said today that the legal costs are about $100K (though news reports indicate that the defense fund raised about $35K). So the plaintiff is still on the hook for $65K.

rdowns
Jun 25, 2007, 06:05 PM
The lawyer for the defendants said today that the legal costs are about $100K (though news reports indicate that the defense fund raised about $35K). So the plaintiff is still on the hook for $65K.

Wonderful news.

EricNau
Jun 25, 2007, 06:15 PM
The lawyer for the defendants said today that the legal costs are about $100K (though news reports indicate that the defense fund raised about $35K). So the plaintiff is still on the hook for $65K.
That is good news. If only he had to pay the couple for all of their wasted time and trouble as well.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 25, 2007, 06:33 PM
That is good news. If only he had to pay the couple for all of their wasted time and trouble as well.

The family has indicated that they will not be pursuing any other lawsuits against this guy.

mkrishnan
Jun 25, 2007, 06:46 PM
Here's hoping Pearson gets disrobed.

Just couldn't resist it, could you. :p Disrobed, meh. Here's hoping he gets pantsed (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pantsed). :D

ghall
Jun 25, 2007, 07:26 PM
Just couldn't resist it, could you. :p Disrobed, meh. Here's hoping he gets pantsed (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pantsed). :D

Are you referring to definition #3? :)

zephead
Jun 25, 2007, 08:09 PM
Good, that a**hole got what he deserved. :mad: I have to wonder if he actually believed that he was actually gonna get $67 million over a lost pair of pants. It's also quite satisfying to know he has to pay the legal fees and such for the Chungs as well as himself. :D

GFLPraxis
Jun 25, 2007, 08:46 PM
I wouldn't call myself the most patriotic of folks, but it sometimes confuses me why I get so uptight when people repeatedly bash the US. Sure, it's not perfect and it's got it's fair share of foolishness.. but it's a HUGE country with 300 million people!! Statistically, there's bound to be shenanigans! Again, not sure why I should care..


People bash the United States for a number of reasons; the foremost of which being arrogance.

This is coming from a born-and-raised U.S. citizen living in the U.S. right now. I've traveled abroad many times, been to Italy around 4-5 times over summer breaks and lived in Holland for two years.

The Americans you found living in Europe were generally the rudest around; yes, it is a broad generalization, but it was generally true. The general stereotype of an American in Europe was "fat and arrogant" (just like the French stereotype in America is "rude and pompous", even though it's not really true for the most part).

The fact that the U.S. runs around meddling on other people's affairs doesn't help (I mean, let's be honest, regardless of the situation, very few other countries appreciate it if someone else jumps in the middle of their affairs).

The U.S. is the world power. The dominant nation. Generally, the world power always bosses everyone else around, and nobody likes them because of that (see any other past world power in history, like the Romans).

So, I don't get offended when I see people bash the U.S...but I would hope people would give me the same lenience.

For example, I absolutely hated Paris. It was beautiful, but everyone was rude. I'm not going to stereotype the French; everyone OUTSIDE of Paris were polite, wonderful people, especially in the smaller French towns and rurals.

xsedrinam
Jun 26, 2007, 01:12 AM
Here's hoping Pearson gets disrobed.
Just couldn't resist it, could you. :p Disrobed, meh. Here's hoping he gets pantsed (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pantsed). :D
Somehow, "gets taken to the cleaners" seemed too cliché. :)

iz3r
Jun 26, 2007, 04:02 AM
Now they must disbarr this guy!

nydoofus
Jun 26, 2007, 11:20 AM
Nice to know there's some sanity in the justice system. I wonder if this guy will ever be able to find a dry cleaner that will take his clothes at all now that his face got plastered all over the news.

yellow
Jun 26, 2007, 11:23 AM
People bash the United States for a number of reasons; the foremost of which being arrogance.

Actually my comment was aimed more at the originator of this thread, who had several threads basically innumerating silliness in the US, which he then heaped upon every American.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 26, 2007, 09:05 PM
Good, that a**hole got what he deserved. :mad: I have to wonder if he actually believed that he was actually gonna get $67 million over a lost pair of pants. It's also quite satisfying to know he has to pay the legal fees and such for the Chungs as well as himself. :D

I stand corrected, after reading more in todays Washington Post....

The plaintiff is only at this point required to pay the court costs for the defendants. The judge is to hear arguments for for the plaintiff to pay legal fees. The plaintiff's is said to have no assets, so the Chungs may be on the hook.

nydoofus
Jun 26, 2007, 09:30 PM
I stand corrected, after reading more in todays Washington Post....

The plaintiff is only at this point required to pay the court costs for the defendants. The judge is to hear arguments for for the plaintiff to pay legal fees. The plaintiff's is said to have no assets, so the Chungs may be on the hook.

Wow, what a scumbag.

GFLPraxis
Jun 26, 2007, 11:43 PM
Actually my comment was aimed more at the originator of this thread, who had several threads basically innumerating silliness in the US, which he then heaped upon every American.

Oh, that? Eh, that's more of a phrase than a sentiment.
If anyone actually believes that people do stupid things only in America, then they're blind :D

mcarnes
Jun 27, 2007, 01:41 AM
If anyone actually believes that people do stupid things only in America, then they're blind :D

Very true. Look at the French.

SMM
Jun 27, 2007, 07:43 PM
I would trust a member of the Columbian cartels over an American lawyer. What a bunch of lecherous scum they are. Not all, of course.

What really disturbs me about this story is, this jerk-weed is now a judge! A person with such a slimy set of principals is going to be adjudicating tens of thousands of cases. Let me guess, he was a Republican 'good old boy'.

JNB
Jun 27, 2007, 07:52 PM
What really disturbs me about this story is, this jerk-weed is now a judge! A person with such a slimy set of principals is going to be adjudicating tens of thousands of cases. Let me guess, he was a Republican 'good old boy'.

He's actually been a judge for a number of years, an Administrative Law Judge since 2005 in DC. And your unwarranted view of his political affiliation, while being completely irrelevant, is also quite likely utterly wrong, as a quick review of his CV would tend to indicate.

BoyBach
Jun 28, 2007, 01:24 PM
Actually my comment was aimed more at the originator of this thread, who had several threads basically innumerating silliness in the US, which he then heaped upon every American.


Hi, could you please point out these "several threads" that I've been using to "heap" upon you.

Thanks.

Teddy's
Jun 28, 2007, 01:34 PM
I would trust a member of the Columbian cartels over an American lawyer. What a bunch of lecherous scum they are. Not all, of course...


I want to extend that to "ANY lawyer in the WHOLE WORLD"

(also the "not all, of course")

:mad: yes I have being sued once for a greedy lawyer.

MacPanda
Jun 28, 2007, 05:16 PM
laywers are greedy scum

madoka
Oct 24, 2008, 02:21 AM
I can't believe that LOSER is trying to appeal the decision now. It already forced the dry cleaners to sell their store and for him to lose his job, yet he's still arguing on appeal that he deserves $54,000,000.

His guy needs to be removed from the gene pool ASAP.

angelneo
Oct 24, 2008, 04:15 AM
I can't believe that LOSER is trying to appeal the decision now. It already forced the dry cleaners to sell their store and for him to lose his job, yet he's still arguing on appeal that he deserves $54,000,000.

His guy needs to be removed from the gene pool ASAP.
Do you have a link?

madoka
Oct 24, 2008, 11:12 AM
I don't even know what Pearson is thinking. It's not like the dry cleaners even could pay him $54 million even if he were to win. This lawsuit is utterly pointless except to ruin lives.

Here is the link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081022/ap_on_re_us/67_million_pants

WASHINGTON – A former administrative law judge who unsuccessfully sued a dry cleaner for $54 million over a pair of lost pants tried to convince an appeals panel Wednesday that he deserves the money because he is a fraud victim.

"This is not a case about a pair of suit pants," Roy L. Pearson argued before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Rather, it is about whether the owners of a neighborhood business misled consumers with a sign that claimed "Satisfaction Guaranteed," he said.

"There is an unconditional guarantee," he argued, unless the merchant indicates otherwise.

Pearson said the sign was deceptive and that the burden was on owners Jin Nam Chung and Soo Chung to explain whether the promise came with restrictions.

Pearson sued Custom Cleaners in northeast Washington in 2005 after claiming the Chungs lost a pair of trousers from a $1,100 blue and burgundy suit, then tried to give him a pair of charcoal gray pants that he said were not his. A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled against Pearson more than a year ago, awarding him nothing.

Christopher Manning, an attorney for the Chungs, said the business owners believe they did not lose the pants.

"My clients have his pants and they're ready to be picked up by Mr. Pearson," he said.

The three-judge appeals panel peppered Pearson with questions about whether he knew of other rulings in which a promise of "Satisfaction Guaranteed" meant that unsatisfied customers should be entitled to whatever damages they believe were appropriate.

"You've got to help us figure out what it means," Judge Phyllis Thompson said. "You haven't pointed me to a case which reaches a conclusion you would have us reach."

Pearson was unable to provide any examples, but maintained that his lawsuit had merit under the city's Consumer Protection Act.

Pearson had originally sued for $67 million. He reached the amount by adding up violations under the act and almost $2 million in common law claims. But he lowered the demands after deciding to no longer seek damages related to the pants, focusing instead on the sign.

Manning said the Chungs made a good-faith effort to accommodate Pearson by initially trying to settle with him. And he warned that more such frivolous claims would likely follow should the judges rule for Pearson.

The case has taken its toll on both sides. The Chungs have sold the dry cleaning shop, citing a loss of revenue and the emotional strain of defending the lawsuit. Pearson lost his job when a D.C. commission voted not to reappoint him.

Pearson quickly left the court after the hearing and would not stop to speak with reporters.

The appeals court is expected to rule in several months. If Pearson loses again, he could seek to have the case heard by the full court or appeal to the Supreme Court.

ChrisA
Oct 24, 2008, 11:41 AM
And besides, who decides at what temperature coffee is served? You should KNOW coffee is hot and can burn you.

I don't know who decided it but there is a "standard" serving temperature for coffee. Mcdonalds actually trains their staff about the "standard" serving temperature. and the standard brewing temp as well. They attempt to keep this very well controlled as it effects taste as well as how lonng the brewed coffee can be held. Years ago I actually sat in a class and studied this kind of thing, like how long food can be kept under a heat lamp and so on and so on.....

What the management of that McDonalds did was a stupid trick design to save some pennies. (well pennies add up...) they offer free refills. but to slow the rate at which customers request these refill they serve coffe at a way hotter serving temperure durring periods of high demand. the customers have to wait for it to cool before they can drink it. the waiting period reduces the amount they can drink.

If you think that is cheap you should see them turning a can of ketsup upside down and letting it drip for a couple hours to recover ten cents worth of ketsup. But all of this adds up at the end of the month if you do 50 of these kinds of things.

The woman was able to sue because the store had ratched up the serving temp to un-safe levels just to make a few cents.

heehee
Oct 24, 2008, 11:45 AM
I would love to meet this guy and his lawyers and see how they can justify suing the dry cleaners, let alone a multi-million dollar law suit. :rolleyes:

Moof1904
Oct 24, 2008, 11:57 AM
Q. What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 50?


A. "Your Honor"

Moof1904
Oct 24, 2008, 12:07 PM
I think this should immediately open the door to have his sanity evaluated.

$0.5 million pain and suffering for not having a particular pair of pants for a day of work? I might reward myself with a cup of coffee on a day that bad, not half a million dollars.


Yes, in all seriousness, no matter how this case turns out, the judge should be removed from his position because anyone who by their own admission can become that emotionally distraught over a pair of pants lacks the mental health to hold his position. I would also argue that someone in that state of mental frailty should not be allowed to have a drivers license or even have custody of any minor children. In fact, I would argue that such a fragile person may even be a candidate for incarceration at a mental health facility for his own good. And if I had ever been convicted of a crime by this judge in the past, I would petition for my verdict to be overturned because someone in his fragile mental state could not possibly be trusted to deliver justice.

I personally would enjoy seeing all this come about and see this guy suffer the consequences of his actions. Consequences that he seems so intent upon dealing others.

GSMiller
Oct 24, 2008, 01:46 PM
If his legal fees total $542,500 for every case, I can see why he's having to make up such ludicrous suits on his own, no one can afford him!

Counterfit
Oct 24, 2008, 10:13 PM
Yes, in all seriousness, no matter how this case turns out, the judge should be removed from his position

He already was removed. He wasn't re-elected in D.C.

Gray-Wolf
Oct 25, 2008, 08:23 AM
He should be warned, that if he tries to proceed with the lawsuit, he would get jail time for waiting the courts time. This about nothing. No one in the WORLD would give a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and if your weren't happy, pay you millions. :mad:

ucfgrad93
Oct 25, 2008, 09:55 AM
Man, this guy is a real piece of crap. Hopefully, the judges hearing this appeal will rule against him.

mac-er
Oct 25, 2008, 10:05 AM
If you'll excuse the jingoism: Only in the USA!

Yeah, it is called freedom. He may be ridiculous, but Americans have the freedom to do this.

Schtumple
Oct 25, 2008, 01:33 PM
Yeah, it is called freedom. He may be ridiculous, but Americans have the freedom to do this.

Please don't go down that route... Don't want this moving into the PRSI side for unnecessary reasons...

GoCubsGo
Oct 25, 2008, 01:37 PM
At the risk of being labeled a Chauvinist, I won't excuse the jingoism. An example to the rule is just that, an example. If a country has a legal system predicated on the notion that every person is entitled to his/her day in court, then there will be people who take advantage of the system. The fault, in this case, rests with the person filing the lawsuit and does not serve as an indictment of the American legal system.

Finally, "Only in ..." has to be the most open-ended, over-used statement of all time. You can pretty much fill in the blank, as with most doctor/lawyer jokes.

OFT.
I do not agree with the suit or many others like it, but he has a right to which he is exercising.