Here is an article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the 54 million dollar misplaced pants suit…
By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
July 10, 2007
Last week I wrote about a number of important cases the U.S. Chamber won during the Supreme Court’s most recent term. But not every case that catches the Chamber’s attention is a big national issue. We have stepped forward in Pearson v. Chung because it illustrates the kind of outrageous lawsuit abuse that the Chamber is determined to end.
The Chung family owns a small dry cleaning and alteration shop in Washington, D.C. In 2005, a customer (who happens to be an administrative law judge) sued the Chungs for more than $54 million because they misplaced a pair of his pants and returned them later than promised. Seizing on the fact that “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “Same-Day Service” signs were posted in the shop, the plaintiff dragged the Chungs through two years of expensive–and farcical–litigation.
A couple of weeks ago, the judge in this civil lawsuit ruled in favor of the Chungs. Unfortunately, the plaintiff has announced his intention to appeal.
From the beginning, this $54 million lawsuit over a pair of lost pants has been the epitome of a frivolous lawsuit. We applaud the court’s decision to dismiss it, and believe that it sent a strong message in ordering Judge Pearson to pay the defendant’s legal costs (but not attorneys fees–so far–which total nearly $100,000).
Some will say this outcome proves the system worked, and justice was served. To the contrary, this case only proves that the system is truly broken and in bad need of repair.
Not only have the Chungs’ finances been ruined, they’ve also lost in terms of years of stress, unwanted attention, and time away from running their family business. None of this would have happened had Judge Pearson agreed to their repeated attempts to settle the case at the beginning.
Businesses large and small across America every day must deal with extortionist plaintiffs’ lawyers like Judge Pearson. The collective outcome is not justice, but lost jobs, ruined businesses, and billions of dollars in lost economic opportunity.
The Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform and the American Tort Reform Association are holding a fundraiser for the Chungs on July 24 to help defray their attorneys fees. To learn how you can help the Chungs, visit ChungFundraiser.com. To learn how you can help us defeat frivolous litigation, visit InstituteForLegalReform.com.