WASHINGTON — The D.C. Court of Appeals has rejected Roy L. Pearson Jr.’s request for a new trial regarding his highly publicized $54 million lawsuit against Custom Cleaners and its owners, Soo and Jin Chung, over a misplaced pair of pants.
Pearson appealed to the court in October to overturn a 2007 ruling that determined he wasn’t entitled to damages because the drycleaner had not lived up to its promises of “satisfaction guaranteed” or “same-day service.”
Pearson, a former District administrative law judge, also argued that he was denied access to having his case heard by a jury.
The three appellate judges who heard his case — Phyllis Thompson, Noel Anketell Kramer and Michael W. Farrell — unanimously agreed that Pearson failed to show that the store’s advertised promises amounted to fraud. The judges said Pearson’s argument that Custom Cleaners intentionally committed fraud with their signs “defies logic.”
The appeals court supported Judge Judith Bartnoff’s initial rejection of Pearson’s argument.
“Thus the judgment [in favor of the cleaners] was proper,” the ruling said. “Further, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying [Pearson’s] motion for a jury trial.”
The appeals court, the District's highest, must consider all appeals of D.C. Superior Court Decisions.
The case might not be over yet — Pearson could still ask the entire nine-judge appellate court to review the case, or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.
Pearson is also suing the District government, alleging that it broke the law when it rejected his reappointment last year to a 10-year term as an administrative law judge.
Citing the strains brought on by the lawsuit and other factors, the Chungs sold the Custom Cleaners store last year.