The $67 million dollar pair of pants
By now, we've all probably heard about the judge who is suing his dry cleaners for millions of dollars. Interesting case. I found the following opinion of the case to be even more interesting. Particularly the last paragraph.
Roy Pearson is a guy who took his pants to his neighborhood dry cleaners for alterations. First, the cleaners lost, or at least misplaced, his pants. Later the cleaners produced a pair of pants that it said was Pearson’s, but Pearson denied that they were his.
It’s not clear how or why things got out of hand. it rarely is in cases like this. It seems that Pearson demanded that the cleaners pay for a new suit. The cleaners must have refused, because one thing led to another, and soon they were in litigation. Big time.
Suffice it to say that the dry cleaners probably regrets not buying Pearson a new suit. It eventually offered him much more to settle the case, first $3,000, then $4,600, and then amazingly, $12,000. By this time, however, Pearson had figured that the cleaners owed him even more, a lot more. $67,280,000 more, to be exact....
I haven’t told you the part of this whole story that grabs me the most. It’s about Pearson. He’s a lawyer. Not any old lawyer, but also a judge, an adminstrative law judge. That’s what makes this case the anti-poster child of tort deformation. Why? Because one of the key aims of tort deformation is to do away with jury trials. Replace jury trials with what? Would you believe administrative law judges?
By the way, it's been proven repeatedly that judges award more money than jurors do. Yet another reason to question the logic and motives of the "reform" lobby.