Monday, May 07, 2007

What Are Your Pants Worth?

Here's a real gem for your daily outrage moment.

Meet Roy Pearson. He is suing a dry cleaner for $65 million, all because his pants were lost.

A customer got so steamed when a dry cleaner lost his trousers that he sued for $65 million. Two years later, he is still pressing his suit.

The case has demoralized the South Korean immigrant owners of the mom-and-pop business and brought demands that the customer -- an administrative law judge in Washington -- be disbarred and removed from office for pursuing a frivolous and abusive claim.

Never mind the pants were later found, never mind that the dry cleaners have offered to settle for outrageous, unjust, and highly undeserved amounts just to make this go away. No, this jerk is still using the legal system to harass hard-working people. But the clincher is, this man's job is to render legal judgments and no doubt has had to toss out some frivolous complaints, during his tenure.

Apparently he has a history of frivolity, as can be seen here in his appeal of his divorce decree. (Hat Tip: Overlawyered)

From the court document:

Roy L. Pearson, Jr. (husband) appeals from a final decree of divorce awarded to Rhonda S.
VanLowe (wife) on the ground that the parties lived separate and apart without cohabitation for one
year pursuant to Code  20-91(A)(9)(a). Husband contends that the trial court erroneously:
1) granted the divorce based on a separation date of October 15, 1999, or October 21, 2001;
2) denied his request for sanctions pursuant to Code .01-271.1; 3) denied his request for spousal
support; 4) failed to grant him a reservation of future spousal support; and 5) awarded wife
attorney's fees. He also requests recusal of the trial judge on remand. For the reasons that follow,
we affirm the trial court on all issues except husband's request for a reservation of future support.

An attorney wanted spousal support, how ridiculous is that?

But now as the story grows some legs, the call from most decent people is for Mr. Pearson to be removed from his position, so he can pursue his dream of abusing the legal system, in private practice.

In my mind, he should not only be removed, but he should be disbarred, made to pay the dry cleaners' legal expenses, and given a prominent place in the Mike Nifong Memorial Hall of Fame for arrogant jerks that once had a law license.


Greg said...

In my state, our rules of civil procedure provide for a thing called an "Offer of Judgment." The defendant sends the plaintiff this document that says, "I offer you $x to settle this case. You have one week to answer." If the plaintiff fails to answer, or answers "no", and if he then recovers less than the offer of judgment, then he has to pay the defendant's costs and legal fees. That would have resolved this case relatively quickly (in this case, the dry cleaner has offered - get this now - $12,000).

At the same time, don't underestimate the anger of a jury in a case like this. They aren't going to take kindly to some jerk who wastes their time over a pair of pants.

So, I'm not outraged - I'm just sitting back, laughing, waiting to see how the system is going to come back around and slap Judge Pearson upside the head.

LASunsett said...


//At the same time, don't underestimate the anger of a jury in a case like this. They aren't going to take kindly to some jerk who wastes their time over a pair of pants.//

Can they award legal fees to the defendants after they laugh him right out of the courtroom? Or do the defendants have to file a countersuit?

Greg said...

LAS: Generally speaking, America does not have a "loser pays" system like England does. Each side bears their own costs no matter who wins. The exception is when the person brings a baseless lawsuit, which this is not, technically. He has a genuine claim - but is seriously deluded about how much it's worth.

Greg said...

But I'm guessing the store is covered by liability insurance. Most likely, the dry cleaner's lawyer is paid for by the insurance company.

Rocket said...

The only thing this idiot should get is a kick in the pants. I read the article and never have heard anything so ridiculous in my life.

What a waste of money for the judicial system for someone who wants his 15 minutes of fame.