WASHINGTON, D.C. — Plaintiff Roy Pearson has reduced damages requested to $54 million in his lawsuit against So Jin and Soo Chung, operators of Custom Cleaners in the Fort Lincoln area of Washington. Pearson filed for $65 million in damages last month, almost two years after the Chungs allegedly lost a single pair of his pants.
Pearson filed a pretrial brief in Pearson v. Chung last week shifting the lawsuit’s focus to concentrate on alleged violations of District consumer-protection laws. The plaintiff says that two signs at the Custom plant reading “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “Same-Day Service” are misleading, each constituting a $1,500 violation for every day since the pants went missing.
“Although it is always encouraging to see claims withdrawn, it is simply baffling that Mr. Pearson continues to assert that he is entitled to tens of millions of dollars as a result of two completely harmless, completely straightforward signs,” says Christopher Manning, partner in Manning & Sossamon, the firm representing the Chungs. “Mr. Pearson’s claims are not founded in common sense and are extraordinarily abusive toward the Chungs.”
Two years into the escalating dispute, the Chungs have been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy by defense costs and are considering a return to their native Korea. “The Chungs’ decision to move to and build a business in America began with the classic American dream,” Manning says. “Mr. Pearson has turned that dream into an American nightmare.”
The trial begins June 11 in D.C. Superior Court. Manning & Sossamon has established a legal defense fund to help cover the Chungs’ court costs.