Business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and tort reform [opponents] like the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) supported a ruling by Judge Judith Bartnoff to dismiss the case against a D.C. dry cleaner. The case revolved around Judge Roy Pearson Jr., a D.C. administrative law judge who sued the owners of a dry cleaning business for $54 million over a pair of pants.
"From the beginning, this $54 million lawsuit over a pair of lost pants has been the epitome of a frivolous lawsuit. We applaud the court's decision to dismiss it, and believe that it sent a strong message in ordering Judge Pearson to pay the defendant's legal bills," said Lisa Rickard of the U.S. Chamber Legal Reform Institute in a statement. (The judge ordered Pearson to pay legal costs and will decide on fees later.)
AAJ echoed the Chamber’s sentiments and has even gone so far as to call on the D.C. Bar to conduct a disciplinary investigation of Judge Pearson.
And the groups aren’t stopping there. AAJ is encouraging its membership to contribute to the dry cleaners’ legal defense fund, and the Chamber is holding a fundraiser on July 24 to help defray their legal expenses.
—By Anna Palmer