$54 Million for a Lost Pair of Pants?

Pant LawsuitThe infamous $54 million claim brought by District of Columbia resident Roy Pearson over a lost pair of pants is the Babe Ruth of consumer protection lawsuits. Pearson’s theory was not, strictly speaking, about his lost pair of pants, but whether the owners of the dry cleaning establishment misled consumers with a sign that claimed “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” He claimed thousands of dollars in damages for each day the pants were missing over a four-year period, relying on the DC law’s statutory damages of $1,500 per violation. Pearson knew how to exploit the law – he was a lawyer and administrative law judge. The small business owners ultimately prevailed in court after a two-day trial, but after more than two years under the strain of litigation, the shop ultimately closed its doors.  Even then, Pearson fought for another year and a half on appeal before his CPA lawsuit was rejected by the District’s highest court.