Judicious and Litigious

I’m a little late to this party, but this was so appalling I couldn’t NOT post about this.  What example of our country’s judicial system could someone who has been appointed to uphold it possibly make? Thanks to an administrative judge in D.C. named Roy Pearson, we now know. Only the inconvenience of a Mom-and-Pop shop dry cleaners losing a pair of slacks was needed to demonstrate how “irreparable” harm can be vindicated in this land called America–that is, in the amount of $65,462,500.00. Yes, that figure was indeed almost $65.5 Million dollars.  This was all for an alteration on a pair of pants that was supposed to cost $10.50. How, do you ask, could he possibly have come up with this figure?  Add in the “right” for a person to have access to a dry cleaners on their block and expecting compensation to lease a car on the weekends for 10 years to find a new one because the first one is supposedly inept and there you have it.  Also, when I consider that “mental suffering, discomfort and inconvenience” plus a replacement suit were part of the equation, I can’t help but wonder just how much money I’ve missed out on all these years on all the “horrible” service my cleaners has “stiffed” me on.  If only I knew dry cleaners were responsible for my mental comfort. Now, I personally have a dry cleaners not more than a 100-foot walk from my building’s front door, but I don’t exactly consider it my “right.“  If they were to move away–call me crazy but I don’t think I could get away with suing them for my transportation costs to find a new one! The Chungs, who own 3 dry cleaners in the D.C. area, are rightfully so disillusioned with how someone could take them to court on such outrageous charges, they’re considering moving back to South Korea.  Go figure. Even more disheartening was that back in 2002, they had lost Pearson’s pants and paid him $150 along with a notice that he was no longer welcome at their business–yet the dispute was put aside and Pearson continued to use their services. One of the stipulations the lawsuit makes is for the Chung party to “list all business in the world that use a ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ sign.“  Come on!

Pearson’s first letter to the Chungs sought $1,150 so he could buy a new suit. Two lawyers and many legal bills later, the Chungs offered Pearson $3,000, then $4,600 and, finally, says their attorney, Chris Manning, $12,000 to settle the case. But Pearson pushes on. How does he get to $65 million? The District’s consumer protection law provides for damages of $1,500 per violation per day. Pearson started multiplying: 12 violations over 1,200 days, times three defendants. A pant leg here, a pant leg there, and soon, you’re talking $65 million.

The icing on the cake is that Pearson’s slacks are still hanging up in the Chungs’ lawyer’s office.  Aren’t you glad to be American?  Leave it up to a judge to abuse a law that is supposed to protect honorable consumers.  I hope his judgeship gets revoked.  This is absolutely repulsive. You too, can help:  Send The Chungs money here. Love, *e

Thanks to my cousin Frank for the headsup on this one.