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A Few Frivolous and Silly lawsuits (Part 2)

February 8, 2016 Hastings and Hastings

The American legal system has been carefully designed so that everyone has an equal opportunity to defend their rights. The court system sees an incredible number of cases each and every year. Often these cases can be complex and difficult to rule on. Other time, these lawsuits may be completely, and utterly frivolous. Let’s learn about a few such cases!

Dry Cleaning Drama

You would have never guessed that this rather innocuous looking mom-and-pop dry cleaners would be the center of what would soon become a controversial lawsuit that would eventually lead to a judge losing his job. In 2005, Judge Roy L. Pearson sued Jin Nam Chung and Soo Chung, the owners of Custom Cleaners for $67 million. The reason? They lost his pants. He believed that the dry cleaners had failed in an implicit promise they had made to deliver absolute customer satisfaction. During the court proceedings, Judge Pearson cross-examined himself to the point of tears as he spoke of the pain and hardship he had suffered as a result of this alleged mistreatment. The Chungs were able to return the pair of pants to Pearson in front of the court. Pearson vehemently denied that the pants in question were his, despite the fact that they came with a matching dry cleaning ticket.

On June 25, 2007, presiding District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff deliver a ruling in favor of the proprietors of Custom Cleaners. The Chungs were also award court costs, which they ended up declining.

Pearson was predictably unhappy with this ruling and on July 11 he filed a motion for a retrial, believing that the judge had “committed a fundamental legal error.” The motion was denied.

Late in 2007, Pearson’s two-year term as an Administrative Law Judge expired. It was recommended he not be extended a possible 10-year term. Pearson never severed as a judge again.