Monday, May 26, 2008

The Return of the $54 Million Pants

Last summer I wrote a post about a DC administrative judge who was suing a dry cleaner for 54 million dollars because they lost his pants.

At issue was a two-word sign on the counter: Satisfaction Guaranteed.

They lost his pants, so he wanted satisfaction: the cost of the pants plus compensation for his "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort."

Apparently never having heard the old axiom "a man who represents himself has a fool for a client," Judge Roy Pearson included in his opening statement a smidge of rhetoric: ". . . never before in recorded history have a group of defendants engaged in such misleading and unfair business practices."

Fortunately he lost, though for the owners of the dry-cleaner it was a phyrric victory as they spent more than 80,000$ on legal fees. (Pearson was ordered to pay the court costs, separate from legal fees.) And fortunately for us, but unfortunately for Mr Pearson, the commission that decides whether to reappoint administrative judges was meeting around that time. Surprise! He lost his job a couple of months after the case ended.

Fast forward one year and Surprise! Roy Pearson is suing the District of Columbia for the loss of his job. It's only a million dollars this time, but God only knows who he'll sue for the loss of his marbles.

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