Patterico's Pontifications

6/12/2007

Tears Shed As $54 Million Pants Suit Goes to Trial

Filed under: Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 6:11 pm

Remember our old friend Roy Pearson, the judge who filed a $67 million lawsuit over a lost pair of pants? (After intense criticism from all quarters, the judge later reduced his claim to $54 million — just to show he’s reasonable.) The case has gone to trial, and our suspicion that he’s not quite right in the head is being confirmed:

A judge had to leave the courtroom with tears running down his face Tuesday after recalling the lost pair of trousers that led to his $54 million lawsuit against a dry cleaner.

My prediction — and remember I said this, because I’m quite serious about it — is that after the jury finds against him, they will be quoted as wondering whether they can make him pay.

And shouldn’t they be able to?

(Thanks to Howard.)

18 Responses to “Tears Shed As $54 Million Pants Suit Goes to Trial”

  1. I hope they make him pay, but I don’t know the status of the law.

    A frivolous suit like this so in excess of any possible loss when the defendent has offered to settle for thousands, when in reality $150 would have covered it easily… is ridulous.

    It’s also malicious.

    What’s the law?

    Christoph (bad4f9)

  2. What’s this?

    Crazy Judge sues over a pair of pants and you have NOTHING on Nifong today?

    Mr. “Were Fucked” Nifong”? Spoken during the meeting with Meehan finding out there was NO DNA from any LAX players!

    TC (b48fdd)

  3. Not only should “Judge” Pearson lose and have to pay the defendant’s costs, plus court costs, he should be disbarred; plus, the judge that allowed this to be calendered should be removed from the bench.

    This travesty typifies why average Joe’s have utter contempt for the legal profession, if not the system.

    Another Drew (33c3dc)

  4. I don’t see how you guys can condemn him unless you’ve seen the pants.

    Jim Treacher (12ed69)

  5. TC,

    I work.

    I have children.

    I saw a quick thing about the pants guy on How Appealing and did a quick post.

    If you have something you’d like me to discuss, send me a link, or drop a comment. Don’t criticize me for not posting on a news story that appeared today.

    You sound like that prick Billy Beck, who criticized me for not reporting something about Kathryn Johnston within about an hour of when it broke on CNN. (Footnote: I reported the very thing said prick criticized me for not reporting, and I did so even before Radley Balko did.)

    Anyone who reads this site knows I don’t defend Nifong. So can the criticism for not posting about something, and help me out instead.

    Thanks.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  6. Sorry Patt, I did indeed forget to insert the grin grimance or smile. :)

    Was not poking at you, more along side as he does seem to be big time news, well maybe more so to me.

    Again no offense intended.

    TC (b48fdd)

  7. My question is:

    What the hell was he doing with those pants, or in those pants, that makes them worth so much to him?

    That’s a seriously unhealthy attachment to a pair of pants.

    fngJD (49df46)

  8. Though this one is obviously an extreme case, this type of claim is not that unusual. It is fairly routine for claimants and the plaintiff bar to make “pain, suffering, and inconvenience” claims in otherwise routine property damage liability claims. If you couple that with the nearly constant attempts to expand the definition of “bad faith”, it is frankly surprising that we do not see more of these claims going to trial. I suspect the pro se nature of the plaintiff has much to do with this. What I find remarkable is the amount offered for settlement, presumably by the insurer. If they offered $12, they obviously viewed it through a purely financial perspective, but by doing so, they encourage the plaintiff bar to take a stronger position against them, as they now know that $ will ultimately drive their final decision, up to trial.

    JD (388d32)

  9. JD #8,

    It’s called “goodwill protection”. I learned it when I represented a dry-cleaner in a lawsuit by a dissatisfied client. Lawyer-think does not work for a small business. You have to satisfy the customer and, at the very least, stop him from slandering you, in order to survive.

    nk (aec62c)

  10. Isn’t this DC and the defendant Korean? It doesn’t seem a slam dunk for the Chungs.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  11. nk – I understand the concept of “goodwill protection”, especially if you are going it alone, meaning without insurance coverage. It was my understanding that this was being handled by the dry cleaner’s liability carrier, and they had offered $12,000 prior to trial.

    The concept of goodwill protection, or nuisance values for frivolous lawsuits is that it draws a baseline for those types of claims, even if they each have to stand on their own merits, or lack thereof. If Allstate becomes known for settling questionable un-witnessed slip and fall claims right before trial, it will not take long for that to become known.

    In the short term, on an individual case, that may be the financially prudent thing to do. But in the long term, spending these dollars for nuisance value can do serious damage to the bottom line.

    Like I said, I know this particular case is an outlier. It just shocked me that A) somebody offered this clown that kind of money, and B) he did not take it, giggling all the way to the bank.

    JD (668587)

  12. I think all of you are a bit too confident that the jury will find for the defendants. I have a sick feeling that we might see a plaintiff’s verdict — with damages set by the jury at “only” one or two million dollars.

    Much of the court system has collapsed into absolute madness. (Look at some of the tobacco verdicts.)

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (445647)

  13. #3 –

    “99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.”

    :)

    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  14. #13-

    I see you truncated all those 9’s after the .

    farsideman (83fafc)

  15. seems to me that the brunt of the criticism should go to the law makers of DC and not this plaintiff. The plaintiff is taking advantage of a poorly construed law to hit a jackpot.

    seePea (38fcb2)

  16. More rediclous lawsuits all the time our courts are a mess

    krazy kagu (a0df11)

  17. I want to make sure I’m clear about one thing.

    Pearson is a judge, which strongly implies that he’s a lawyer. And if I recall correctly, he’s representing himself?

    Karl Lembke (1d7861)


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