WASHINGTON — D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff announced her verdict this morning in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought by Judge Roy Pearson against So Jin and Soo Chung, operators of Custom Cleaners in Washington, over a lost pair of pants.
Bartnoff says that Pearson did not prove Custom Cleaners guilty of violations in D.C. consumer-protection laws that made up much of his original $54 million claim. The court refused to award Pearson the $500,000 in legal fees he requested for representing himself, and he now must pay all of the Chungs’ legal costs.
Pearson has 30 days to file an appeal in the case, according to the Chungs’ defense attorney, Christopher Manning, of D.C. law firm Manning & Sossamon. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform and the American Tort Reform Association will cohost a fundraiser to help pay any additional court costs incurred by the Chung family next month.
While the defending drycleaners won this case, operators are often unsure how much to offer in the event of a lost or damaged garment — and it’s often a better idea to pay a claim than alienate a customer. For Nora Nealis’ viewpoint on paying claims and protecting your business, click here .