Monday, June 25, 2007

All washed up

Today, Superior Judge Judith Bartnoff proved that not all judges possess the odd reasoning that Roy L Pearson has evidently had for the past two years. Pearson, an administrative law judge, has lost his $54 million dollar lawsuit against the Chung family and Custom Cleaners.

He originally sought $67 million and later amended it to $54 million after claiming the Chungs and their business had lost a favorite pair of his pants and later tried to give him a pair he claimed were not his. Evidently this really was his favorite pair of pants because Pearson, who has represented himself in this case, appeared on the stand crying when describing his lost pants.

Judge Bartnoff ruled that Custom Cleaners did not violate D C's Consumer Protection Act by failing to live up to Pearson's expectations of the "Satisfaction Guarenteed" sign they had displayed in their window. Pearson has claimed it was an unconditional warrenty and calculated his amount of damages by estimating years of violations, added almost $2 million in common-law claims of fraud and money he spent on a cab so that he could use another cleaners. He has also claimed millions of dollars in attorney fees, which is difficult to understand, since he has represented himself since beginning this lawsuit. I would think that he could have worked out a much better scale of fees simply by looking in his own wallet and then telling himself he couldn't afford that proposed charge.

"A reasonable consumer would not interpret 'Satisfaction Guarenteed' to mean that a merchent is required to satisfy a customer's unreasonable demands or accede to demands that the merchant has reasonable grounds to dispute," Bartnoff wrote in a 23-page finding of fact.

Bartnoff had also concluded that Pearson had not met his burden of proving that the pants the Chungs had sought to return to him were not in fact his pants. The Chung's have been awarded court costs to be paid by Pearson and they are seeking to have their attorney's fees paid by him as well. They have spent tens of thousands of dollars defending themselves in this two-year long frivalous case.

The Chungs have stated that they are very pleased with the verdict and have no plans to move back to Korea, something they had mentioned doing earlier in the case. They have even said that they would continue to have Pearson as a customer if he chose to use their services again despite the lawsuit being emotionally, economically and healthwise, extremely hard for them.

"Judge Bartnoff has chosen common sense and reasonableness over irrationality and unbridled venom," Chris Manning, the Chung's attorney said.
The fact that this lawsuit was allowed to drag out for two years and waste the court's time with an actual trial, I can't believe that other judges could have used the same logic Bartnoff has used and tossed it out before it cost the Chung's all that is has.

1 comment:

Karen said...

$54 million... how, this is what I want to know, HOW did he come up with that number? He did amend it...but still... for a pair of pants? What type of pants were these? Silk? Gold? Diamond?