Thursday, July 26, 2007

$54M pants (and a few friends) to the rescue

The now infamous pair of pants was featured at a 7/24 Washington D.C. fundraiser. Proceeds from the fundraiser will help pay the legal bills of Jin Nam Chung and Soo Chung, owners of the dry cleaning business that misplaced and later found the pair of pants. Roy Pearson brought in the pants and filed suit over their loss, originally demanding $67M, and later dropping the demand to $54M. To make it worse, this jerk plaintiff is a judge. When the Chungs found his pants and offered to return them, he refused, saying it was too late, and continued with his lawsuit.

The Chungs won the lawsuit. The judge ordered Pearson to pay court costs. However, the Chungs also incurred about $100K in legal fees. The American Tort Reform Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform help the fundraiser to help the Chungs cover their legal costs. They raised over $64K, and pledges are still arriving. The groups advocate for tighter guidelines for filing lawsuits, hoping to eliminate frivolous suits like this one. They hoped that the fundraiser would help publicize their mission to reform tort law, especially in the light of cases that unjustly attack small businesses.

If the Chungs’ motion for legal fees is granted, forcing Pearson to bear the costs of his ridiculous suit, fundraiser proceeds in excess of the family’s costs will be donated to charity. I hope that Pearson gets his arrogant a$$ nailed when the judge in this case makes a ruling on the Chungs' Motion.

If he had asked them to reimburse the cost of the lost pants, it would have been reasonable. To force them to bear the stress and financial burden was far from it. It would be poetic justice if he gets taken to the cleaners.

1 comment:

Thomas Westgard said...

English courts commonly require the losing party to pay the other side's legal fees, and it's not infrequent that there's a proposal to increase that practice over here. The usual proposal is that there be some determination of whether the losing party's argument was meritless, and if it was, then they're on the hook.

These proposals are commonly shot down by the insurance lobby, because they routinely use frivolous and baseless defenses against paying amounts that they know are owed.