Monday, June 25, 2007
Washington, D.C. Superior Judge Judith Bartnoff entered judgment today in favor of the dry cleaners sued by Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson for $65 million over $10 of alterations to his pants. From the 23-page opinion:
With regard to the alleged missing pants, the plaintiff has not met his burden of proving that the pants the defendants attempted to return to him were not the pants he brought in for alterations. At best, the evidence on that subject is in equipoise. The Court agrees with the plaintiff that the pants in the defendants' possession do not appear to match the jacket to his burgundy and blue pinstriped suit. The Court also will accept that Mr. Pearson does not like cuffs on his pants. ...
The plaintiff's claims regarding the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign are premised on his interpretation that the sign is an unconditional and unlimited warranty of satisfaction to the customer, as determined solely by the customer, without regard to the facts or to any notion of reasonableness. The plaintiff confirmed at trial that in his view, if a customer brings in an item of clothing to be dry cleaned, and the dry cleaner remembers the item, and the customer then claims that the item is not his when the dry cleaner presents it back to the customer after it has been cleaned, the cleaner must pay the customer whatever the customer claims the item is worth if there is a "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign in the store, even if the dry cleaner knows the customer is mistaken or lying. Nothing in the law supports that position.
The judge also awarded the dry cleaners their court costs and stated that "[t]he issue of the defendants' claim for attorney's fees against the plaintiff will be addressed after the defendant's motions for sanctions and for attorney's fees have been filed and briefed by the parties." See also the Judgment entered today by the judge.
Press and blogosphere coverage:
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- NY Times on Judge's $54 Million Suit Over Dry Cleaner's $10 Alteration to His Pants (6/13/07)
- Trial Begins Today in Judge's $54 Million Suit Over Dry Cleaner's $10 Alteration to His Pants (6/11/07)
- Judge Sues for $65 Million Over Dry Cleaner's $10 Alteration to His Pants (4/26/07)