A few years back, Washington D.C. administrative law judge Roy Pearson sued his neighborhood dry cleaners for misplacing his pants. He’s asking for $65,462,500. The alteration work on his pants cost $10.50. Here’s the story from the WaPo and an item from the DCist.
Pearson reportedly says he deserves the money for litigation costs, for “mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort,” for the value of his time spent on the lawsuit, and for a replacement suit, according to court papers. The best detail: He’s asking the cleaners to pay him $15,000 for leasing a car every weekend for 10 years. Why? Because he must find another cleaner and since he doesn’t have a car, he says he has to rent one to get his clothes cleaned.
How did he get to $65 million? D.C.’s consumer protection law provides for damages of $1,500 per violation per day. So he computed 12 violations over 1,200 days times three defendants. In the words of WaPo columnist Marc Fisher, “A pant leg here, a pant leg there, and soon, you’re talking $65 million.”
Chris Manning, attorney for Custom Cleaners, told the DCist that the case was, “possibly the most amazing example of frivolous and ridiculous litigation.”
A major point of legal contention: At the time it lost his pants, Custom Cleaners had two signs on its walls — “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “Same Day Service.” The judge says he relied on these signs. According to the story, the Chungs have since removed the signs.
The case is set for a June trial. Judge Pearson did not return our phone calls