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June 24, 2007

Chamber Applauds Pants Suit Ruling

Washington, D.C.-U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard released the following statement on the ruling to dismiss the case against a Washington, D.C., dry cleaner brought by Judge Roy Pearson:

“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.

“Some will say this outcome proves the system worked, and justice was served. To the contrary, this case only proves that the system is truly broken and in bad need of repair.

“While the Chungs are fortunate that their legal bills will be paid by Pearson, they’ve nonetheless lost in terms of years of stress, unwanted attention and time away from running their family business. None of this would have happened had Judge Pearson agreed to their repeated attempts to settle the case at the beginning.

“Businesses large and small across America every day must deal with extortionist plaintiffs’ lawyers like Judge Pearson. The collective outcome is not justice, but lost jobs, ruined businesses and billions of dollars in lost economic opportunity.”

ILR is co-hosting a fundraiser in Washington, DC on July 24 to help the Chungs defray their legal expenses. Information about the event is available on the Web at www.chungfundraiser.com.

Data recently released by ILR shows the tort system cost small business $98 billion in 2005, and more than half of all small businesses concerned about lawsuits say they make business decisions they otherwise would not have made because of their lawsuit fears. (Both studies are available at www.instituteforlegalreform.com)

The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer, and faster for everyone. It seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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