The major media, bloggers and tort reformers were not kind to Roy Pearson in their year-end reviews. Pearson is the former D.C. admininstrative judge who sued the Chungs, his drycleaners, demanding $54 million because of the troubles he supposedly suffered after his suit pants were misplaced.
It’s hard to muster any sympathy for Pearson considering all the pain and financial suffering he put the Chungs through, and we certainly knocked the guy around in 2007 at Shopfloor.org for his abusive lawsuit.
Still, we’ll admit to feeling kind of sorry for the guy. It’s not normal for someone to pursue a legal case with such obsessiveness, in the process putting one’s livelihood at risk. There’s something going on with ex-Judge Pearson that suggests personal pain, confusion and disarray.
But the world is full of troubled, obsessed people. Should they have the ability through civil litigation to ruin other people’s lives, to drive them toward bankruptcy? Right now the law gives them that power .
Hence, we need a structural solution, i.e., tort reform, in D.C. and elsewhere. The law should protect innocent individuals and business owners against the abusers who have replaced reason with litigiousness. ATRA’s Tiger Joyce has been the clearest voice on this issue, noting that Pearson sued the Chungs under the D.C. Consumer Protection and Procedures Act. D.C. can reform those laws, Joyce notes: “By requiring plaintiffs to prove that they actually relied on a supposedly fraudulent or deceptive advertisement or representation, lawmakers could drastically reduce this kind of lawsuit abuse.”
Roy Pearson is certainly deserving of this calendar-prompted calumny we’ve cited above, but we’re not sure that doesn’t anybody any good. Let’s just fix the system that allowed one man’s personal troubles to become a legal and financial nightmare for upstanding small-business owners in Washington, D.C.
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