Posted by: Opey | June 18, 2007

How Much Are Your Pants Worth?

If you happen to be a certain D.C. administrative judge, then the answer is $54 Million (Down from $65 Million). Welcome to the strangest lawsuit since a woman spilled McDonald’s coffee on herself.  This judge clearly values his fashion sense.  This story just has so many weird turns and twists that it’s truly unbelievable.  But first, out with the backbone of my views.  I believe that he does have a case.  The service he received was not up to his expectations, or the expectations of a reasonable person.  He therefore has the right to seek remedy and not have his case thrown out outright.  Now, that being said, everything else in this story is a joke.  The damages sought are way beyond the damage caused.  Those will hopefully be taken care of by the presiding judge in the case if a verdict for the plaintiff is handed down.  The defendants in this case are a South Korean couple who runs Custom Cleaners in Washington.  They are now contemplating moving back to South Korea over their disgust of the US.  The judge was told one several occasions that if he was unhappy with the service to clean his clothes elsewhere.  The reason he kept coming back you ask.  Well, it’s because that’s the nearest cleaners to his house and he doesn’t want to drive or take public transportation.  That leads to another joke of this case.  Beyond punitive and emotional damages, the judge is also seeking legal fees to the tune of $300 plus an hour (even though he is representing himself) and $15,000, the price to rent a car every weekend for 10 years to go to another business, something that would have remedied the situation long ago.  What is even better about this story is that the judge is up for reappointment to the Washington Administrative Law Courts.  Now, you cannot remove him or deny his reappointment because of this lawsuit, but you have to wonder about his ability to fairly adjudicate.  He has strictly (even beyond strictly) interpreted a D.C. ordinance to come up with his dollar amount for damages and he refused settlement offers of up to $12,000 and also refused an attempt by a Superior Court judge to mediate the situation.  Is this the type of person we want being the middle ground arbiter between two parties?  It is my hope that the presiding judge in this case make a statement in his verdict.  He should find in favor of the plaintiff, but only to the tune of $10.50, the original cost of the alterations to be performed.  People say that the world today is sue happy, I disagree.  People are taking advantage of their lawful rights to seek remedy for wrongs committed against them and the media has just taken a greater interest in the world of lawsuits and settlements.  What needs to be curtailed is the damage amounts given out in cases such as these.  There is no reason for millions of dollars to be payed out for a mere pair of pants.


  1. […] a few more quick hits. The judge v. dry cleaners case that I mentioned a while back ended in favor of the dry cleaners.  A victory for those in favor of tort reform.  Next, the Wet […]

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