Lawyers Call for Discipline of Lost-Pants Plaintiff

Ian P. Murphy |

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association for Justice (AAJ), a professional organization of trial lawyers, has called for a disciplinary investigation of District of Columbia Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson Jr. — the plaintiff in the widely reported $65 million lawsuit against Custom Cleaners.
“Our court system has no place for those who abuse the instruments of justice for personal gain or the intimidation of others,” said AAJ CEO Jon Haber in a letter.
“As attorneys who are committed to helping Americans receive justice throughout courts, we are outraged by the very idea of a $65 million claim over a pair of pants,” added AAJ president Lewis S. “Mike” Eidson. “It is not only ridiculous — it is offensive to our values.”
Pearson filed the suit last week, seeking $65 million in compensation for a single lost pair of pants. Pearson arrived at the figure through a strict interpretation of District consumer-protection laws, tripled it by filing suit against operators So Jin and Soo Chung and their son, and tacked on additional car-rental, mental anguish and legal fees.
Eidson and Haber pledged to contribute to the Custom Cleaners defense fund established by Manning & Sossaman, the Washington, D.C.-based law firm representing the Chungs. Eidson also emphasized to the association’s board that this case should not be used as an example to undermine the role of lawsuits in civil justice.
“This case is clearly atypical, and we cannot allow those who oppose us on fundamental issues of access to the civil justice system to turn this case into an indictment of that system,” Eidson said. “Our mission continues to be to ensure Americans have a level playing field in our courtrooms — even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations.”
Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the 52,000-member AAJ says it promotes justice and fairness for injured persons, defends the constitutional right to trial by jury, and strengthens the civil justice system through education and disclosure of information critical to public health and safety.

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

Freelance Writer

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.


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