Friday, June 15, 2007

$54M pants trial concludes in DC

The trial of the $54 million pants suit in DC came to an end on Wednesday, and the presiding judge said she will issue a ruling next week.

This case involves an administrative law judge, Roy Pearson, who took a pair of pants to a dry cleaners. He claims they lost the trousers and he says for that he is owed 54 million bucks, citing the District’s consumer protection laws. The cleaners had posted a sign, since removed, that said, “Satisfaction guaranteed.”

Marc Fisher of the Washington Post wrote that the judge pretty much telegraphed the ending to this story. She said, “This is a very important statute to protect consumers. It's also very important that statutes like this are not misused.”

The American Association for Justice, formerly known as ATLA, recognizes red meat for the tort reformers when it comes along. Pearson easily could replace the McDonald’s coffee lady in the public mind as the symbol of a frivolous lawsuit. Last month, the AAJ issued a call for a DC bar ethics investigation of Pearson, stating that the idea of seeking that much money for a pair of pants “is not only ridiculous – it is offensive to our values.” AAJ's top leaders added that they personally were contributing to a defense fund set up for the benefit of the owners of the dry cleaning shop.

No comments: