Wednesday, August 15, 2007

$54M pants tale continues

Apparently the judge who sued the dry cleaner is a sore loser and doesn't want to pay the cleaners' attorneys' fees for the lawsuit. Somehow I don't have much sympathy.


The North Coast said...

Does there exist any type of business endeavor in the world where you don't have to worry about being hit with a lawsuit like this?

I work in a very litigated-against industry, and can tell you that it costs a minum of $7,000 to defend against the most trivial, small-money complaint. This is a tragedy for people making $40K or thereabouts, or often less.

For a business like a small drycleaners to have to pay these kinds of fees is horrendous. Owners of small cleaners are lucky if they can clear out a $30K pretax salary a year. To the legal fees you can add the many hours this suit claimed from this guy's life and attention to his business.

The unsuccessful litigant should be made to compensate the defendent for his time and damage to his business, as well as legal fees.

We also need a workable method to "pre-qualify" lawsuits and eliminate frivolous ones like this from the docket, instead of the "tort reform" proposed by Republicans that would keep people from recovering damages for genuine, and serious injury. Silly, trivial suits like this are what Small Claims courts are for, or at least so I thought.

Fargo said...

I agree with all the points you made. This should have been a small claims case. Tort reform should penalize frivolous litigants. The current system unfairly penalizes a lot of regular folks like the Chungs.

I know too well how much litigation can cost.

I've heard a lot of sad examples of paying the cost of frivolous lawsuits. Friends who work in various capacities for municipalities and transit systems and hospitals have told me a lot of horror stories about people doing stupid things that resulted in avoidable harm to themselves. They can't take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, so they sue the police officers who arrested them when they started a bar brawl and got beat up, or the doctor who treated them at the ER after the bar brawl they started, or the firefighters who rescued them from the fires they started after falling asleep smoking in bed. Too often the defendants end up settling and paying these undeserving jokers money because it's less expensive than letting the litigation run its course.

In the city of Chicago alone, this costs taxpayers millions every year. This is one seriou$ly $crewed up sy$tem.