Suit and Lawsuit: A Judge’s Pants

By April 26, 2007Briefly Legal

Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher profiles a litigious D.C. judge who wants millions — MILLIONS! — because the cleaners misplaced his pants. If the story weren’t so ridiculous, it would be …well, it’s just ridiculous.

He says he deserves millions for the damages he suffered by not getting his pants back, for his litigation costs, for “mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort,” for the value of the time he has spent on the lawsuit, for leasing a car every weekend for 10 years and for a replacement suit, according to court papers.

[Roy] Pearson is demanding $65,462,500. The original alteration work on the pants cost $10.50.

By the way, Pearson is a lawyer. Okay, you probably figured that. But get this: He’s a judge, too — an administrative law judge for the District of Columbia.

In the immediate case, this is a nightmare for the Chung family that runs Custom Cleaners, who are spending thousands of hard-earned dollars to defend themselves from complaint after complaint.

But more generally, this kind of litigation frenzy has serious implications for our America’s competitiveness. It was just a month ago that the Pacific Research Institute released a study documenting how America’s out-of-control legal system hits the economy with $865 billion annually in direct and indirect costs.

According to the study, the $865 billion spent on tort costs each year represents 2.2 percent of our GDP, compared to 0.9 percent from other advanced economies. In the private sector, this is over $367 billion per year in lost product sales for America companies because spending on litigation curtails investment in research and development.

“It’s time for Congress to wake up and realize that America can no longer be a nation of the lawyers, by the lawyers and for the lawyers,” [NAM President John] Engler said.

Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Liit says:

    Too Bad I just came across this recently. I would have send Pearson one of my pants and asked him if it is his pants. Anyone interested in sending him your pants? I’ll bet you he’ll have enough pants he wouldn’t need to sue another dry cleaner.

  • David Dowling says:

    Now I want to see him pay the court costs, be removed from the bench then do some time. Maybe he is pal of Rose Byrd. Lets get on with the issues that truly matter.

  • Al says:

    I’m sure the Chungs are sitting in court wondering what planet they’ve landed on while watching this Judge cry over his lost pants. That fact that this was allowed to go forward at all is ridiculous and sets a bad precedent. When their business says “satisfaction guaranteed” it means they can and will generally satisfy most all sane people with new pants, a free dry cleaning or replacement cost. That will generally satisfy most people. If not, you go somewhere else. Jeez, this is a phrase that’s been used in businesses as far back as I can remember. The court should order that this judge be put in a booby hatch for a few months, pay the chungs court costs and throw out the case. nuff said…

  • Tom says:

    Just the case going to trial makes me lose all faith in our legal system. Pearson should have his license revoked. He is a piece of garbage!

  • carol jackson says:

    An American to be ashamed of!!!!

    This “Judge” should be charged with wasting the court’s time,frivolous law suits and should at the very least not only pay the Chungs legal bills but should have to pay them for their suffering in the same amount he is asking for.

    How is the man a Judge and please explain how he has been able to take this to court?

  • carol jackson says:

    An American to be ashamed of!!!!

    This “Judge” should be charged with wasting the court’s time,frivolous law suits and should at the very least not only pay the Chungs legal bills but should have to pay them for their suffering in the same amount he is asking for.

    How is the man a Judge and please explain how he has been able to take this to court?

  • carol jackson says:

    An American to be ashamed of!!!!

    This “Judge” should be charged with wasting the court’s time,frivolous law suits and should at the very least not only pay the Chungs legal bills but should have to pay them for their suffering in the same amount he is asking for.

    How is the man a Judge and please explain how he has been able to take this to court?

  • Vince says:

    I can’t believe this Judge…what a fat cat!
    This is a judge?
    He needs to be ouster……it is just disgusting and a waste of time and money
    This judge has no business in the court system

  • MarkStalz says:

    Hello,
    I just wanted to send you the following advisory with updates to the Pearson v Chung drycleaner case. Please let me know if you have any questions.
    On May 31, 2007, D.C. Administrative Law Judge, Roy L. Pearson, filed a Pre-Trial Brief in the Pearson v. Chung dry cleaner case. In the brief, Pearson shifts the focus of his claims from his allegedly lost pants to claims related to signage in the Chungs.

  • Politics says:

    Think about it. The rich in this country along with politicians want to do away with “frivolous lawsuits”. Judges hate it too. I believe this incident is staged to gain support in passing laws making it difficult to sue. Who benefits? The rich and powerful. I don’t condone frivolous lawsuits but with the way the politicians align themselves with the rich, they will make it difficult or even impossible to sue even when it’s fully justified. This whole situation stinks! A judge suing a mom and pop cleaners for 65Mil???? He knows he will never get it! He also knows how this situation will enrage people enough to give up the ability to sue at all!

  • Sunny says:

    This judge need to be fired from the District of Columbia.

  • Optimus says:

    That judge is a bully, with no sense of justice or compassion. I can’t believe his boss would let him work. Both of them needs to be fired.

  • purplecat77 says:

    Call Roy Pearson’s boss, Chief Administrative Judge Tyrone Butler at (202) 442-9094 and leave a message that Judge Pearson is being disgrace to the DC courts.

    According to Marc Fisher of the Washington Post, a legal defense fund has been established. You can contrubute through the Chung family’s lawyer, Chris Manning.

    Chris Manning
    Manning & Sossamon PLLC
    1532 Sixteenth Street NW
    Washington, DC 20036
    202) 387-2228
    202) 387-2229 (Fax)
    cmanning@manning-sossamon.com
    http://www.manning-sossamon.com

    On the Net: http://www.CustomCleanersDefenseFund.com

  • bernie says:

    Tell the truth guys, the NAM invented this fellow. No one could be that blatantly arrogant, stupid, evil and self-destructive. If this case doesn’t convince Congress that the system needs reigning in nothing will. I linked to you from Judge Roy L Pearson – Sometimes the Customer is dead wrong – http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2007/05/judge_roy_l_pearson.html

  • RF says:

    I am so disgusted that the “Honorable” (not in my book!!) Judge Roy Pearson is being allowed to pursue this ridiculous suit. If you read the divorce papers, he wasted so much of the court system’s time and money fighting his ex-wife. He is on a power trip and is abusing his oath to American justice. How interesting is it that he is attacking a local dry cleaners so shortly after a divorce and his appeal in his divorce did not go through….can you say BRUISED EGO?? Now he is taking his expertise and status in the legal system to NEW HEIGHTS!! He wants to prove that he is the ultimate Lawyer and Judge at the expense of this hard working family. He is giving our country a bad name and basically “spitting” not only on the judicial system, but also on all the men and women that are serving in our military to protect our freedom’s granted us in the United States. By FREEDOM….that should not include a right to sue for $64 million dollars over a pair of pants. I hope that he is never allowed to serve in the court system or judicial system ever again…hopefully somebody takes this man to the CLEANERS!!

  • san says:

    I agree with tarred and feathered, but not with stoned.
    My suggestion: order this grab-as-you-can Judge to wear a pink with green stripe suit every time he enters a government building.

  • Tom Palmer says:

    Kindly have the judge try on the pants. If they fit, place the judge wearing the pants in wet concrete. Allow the concrete to harden for days, then place the judge and his pants in the river,any river and allow him to swim.

  • tj says:

    Roy Pearson should be tared, feathered and stoned on the mall in D.C.

  • Paul says:

    This guy has a history of being a sore loser. Here’s his divorce appeal, where he threatens to get his wife (a lawyer) and her representing lawyer disbarred — just because:

    http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opncavwp/0561044.pdf

  • Pearl says:

    I am totally addicted to your blog.