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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

US Man Loses $54 Million Trousers Claim

(Source: BBC News, Monday, 25 June 2007) A US man has lost a $54m (£27m) claim against a South Korean dry-cleaning firm which lost a pair of his trousers.

Roy Pearson, a judge of administrative law, claimed that Custom Cleaners had violated the Consumer Protection Act.

By refusing to pay him $1,000 (£500) after losing his trousers, they failed to honour a pledge to provide "Satisfaction Guaranteed", he argued.

But a Washington judge dismissed the case, which drew international attention, awarding the cleaners costs.

Legal groups have said the case, which has dragged on for two years and involved thousands of hours of legal investigative work, has damaged the image of the US judicial system.

'American nightmare'

The National Labor Relations Board has called for Mr Pearson to be disbarred so that he can no longer serve as a judge.

His case began in 2005 when Mr Pearson took several suits to his local dry-cleaners in Washington to have some alterations made.

When he returned two days later, a pair of trousers was missing.

The South Korean family running the dry-cleaners, the Chungs, said they found the missing trousers a few days later and tried to return them but Mr Pearson insisted they were not his.

His multimillion dollar calculations for damages included the 1,400 hours he says he spent preparing the case.

According to the Washington Post, he also added the cost of hiring a car every weekend to enable him to drive to an alternative dry-cleaners for the next 10 years.

The Chungs' lawyer, Chris Manning, said that the protracted case had transformed the family's American dream into "the American nightmare", according to the AP.

He said the family, who own three dry-cleaners in the Washington area, were considering returning to South Korea.

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