Judge Rules: Drycleaners Win in Pants Suit

By June 25, 2007Briefly Legal


UPDATE: A statement from the Chungs’ attorneys:


Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled resoundingly in favor of the Chungs and Custom Cleaners this morning with a full defense verdict and an award of costs to the Chungs. The Chungs are very pleased with Judge Bartnoff’s decision.

Importantly, there is a distinction between an award of costs versus an award of attorney’s fees. Costs relate only to the hard costs of the litigation, such as filing fees and transcript charges, and not attorney’s fees. As the Court noted, a request for an award of attorney’s fees is only appropriate after a verdict is rendered. We will request that the Court award the Chungs attorney’s fees later this week. However, any payment of costs or attorney’s fees would be suspending pending any appeal of the verdict.

Through her verdict, Judge Bartnoff has spoken loudly in suggesting that, while consumers should be protected, abusive lawsuits like this will not be tolerated. Judge Bartnoff has chosen common sense and reasonableness over irrationality and unbridled venom. Simply put, Judge Bartnoff got it right.

Unfortunately, however, this emotionally and financially burdensome ordeal is likely not over for the Chungs—we fully expect Mr. Pearson to file a Notice of Appeal within the 30 day timeframe for doing so which starts to run today.

In order to help alleviate the financial toll and business setbacks the Chungs have suffered as a result of Mr. Pearson’s lawsuit, the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform and the American Tort Reform Association will co-host a fundraiser for the Chung family on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 from 6:00-7:30pm at the US Chamber of Commerce building located at 1615 H Street, NW, Washington, DC. This event will be open to the public. To learn more about the Chungs’ fundraiser, please visit www.ChungFundraiser.com which should be fully operational later today.

The judgment (.pdf file). The opinion.

UPDATE II (11 a.m.): The Chungs are holding a news conference at 1 p.m. Just one news conference, and reporters are being told to not approach them otherwise: They have a business to run.

AP story here.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • uschamber says:

    As you are undoubtedly aware, a $54 million lawsuit was recently brought in DC District Court against a small neighborhood drycleaners over a pair of alleged lost trousers. While the Court found resoundingly in favor of the business owners, Jin and Soo Chung, their ordeal is not yet over—they have drained their saving accounts contesting this frivolous lawsuit, and they have racked up over $100,000 in legal expenses.

    In order to help the Chungs defray their legal bills, ILR and the American Tort Reform Association are co-hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday evening, July 24 at 6 p.m. at the US Chamber Building in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, businesses large and small across America must deal every day with similar extortionist tactics from some plaintiffs’ lawyers. The collective outcome is not justice, but lost jobs, ruined businesses and billions of dollars in lost economic opportunity. Additional details, sponsorship opportunities and easy online registration are available at http://www.chungfundraiser.com.

  • Lee says:

    Mr. Paulson ought to be ashamed of himself for even starting legal action of any kind. This says much of our screwed up legal system that this could get as far as it did. This guy out to be drummed out of the legal profession.

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