“I Got Your Satisfaction Guaranteed ….In My Pants!”

Ken AshfordCourts/LawLeave a Comment

16107550876The "Case of the Judge’s Missing Pants" opinion — abridged:

"Yes, the sign says ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’, but that doesn’t mean the dry cleaner must do whatever the customer wants, no matter how fuckin’ insane.  A ‘reasonable customer’ standard applies."

You can read the opinion here (pdf).  The story starts on page 5.

The background news coverage can be found here:

A judge ruled Monday that no pair of pants is worth $54 million, rejecting a lawsuit that took a dry cleaner’s promise of "Satisfaction Guaranteed" to its most litigious extreme.

Roy L. Pearson originally sought $67 million from the defendants, claiming they lost a pair of trousers from a blue and maroon suit, then tried to give him a pair of charcoal gray pants that he said were not his.

Pearson arrived at the amount by adding up years of alleged law violations and almost $2 million in common law fraud claims. He then lowered the amount he was seeking to $54 million.

But District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled that the owners of Custom Cleaners did not violate the city’s consumer protection law by failing to live up to Pearson’s expectations of the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign once displayed in the store window.

Roy Pearson, the plaintiff, is a judge himself, a $96,000-a-year gig as an administrative law judge for the District government.  And — if you ask me — kind of a prick. $54 million because the dry cleaner might have lost your pants (you’re not sure?!!?)????

The judge said Pearson must pay the Chungs’ court costs and she will consider a request by the Chung family for attorneys fees and sanctions against Pearson.  Personally, I think Pearson should be disbarred for litigation abuse.

Hilzoy agrees that this Pearson guy is a litigious prick:

I read around, and chanced to find a copy of Pearson’s divorce proceedings. They’re not nearly as outrageous as this case, but they did suggest a person who was willing to use his knowledge of the law to bully other people by filing odd and excessive complaints. As the decision in the current case states:

"The trial court in Fairfax County made specific findings that the litigation was disproportionately long, despite the relative simplicity of the case, and that Mr. Pearson “in good part is responsible for excessive driving up of everything that went on here” and created “unnecessary litigation.” Mr. Pearson therefore was ordered to pay $12,000 of his wife’s attorney’s fees. Mr. Pearson appealed, and the Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s finding."

This guy seems to be a serial abuser of the judicial system. Having to pay the attorney’s fees for the dry cleaners might make him think twice about doing this again to some poor unsuspecting waitress or gas station attendant who rubs him the wrong way.

Pictured above: the people that Judge Pearson sued

Like the saying goes, it’s 99% of the lawyers that give the rest of us a bad name….