Recently, the national news media has picked up and reported on the filing of a rather rediculous law suit being pursued by an attorney, who is also a judge no less, representing himself in a claim for $650,000,000 in damages from a dry cleaner in Washington D.C. over a pair of pants. While the merit of the claim remains in question and the recovery for this judge, if anything, will likely not be more than the value of the pair of pants, the case was filed none-the-less.
The absurdity of this man’s damage claim is of course an insult to attorneys across this country and a slap in the face of the most effective and just legal system in the world. Thankfully, lawyers and others across the country have banded together to stand behind the couple that owns the dry cleaning service. Moreover, if the system works as designed, the plaintiff-judge in this case may be subject to sanction for putting forth legal arguments which on their face sound to be without legal merit whatsoever.
The problem of course is that these claims were made in the first place and that in and of itself has harmed not only the owners of the business, who of course fear the worst, but also the reputation and image of our justice system. I have practiced law for over 15 years representing plaintiffs in personal injury claims, consumer lawsuits and in small business litigation and in that time I can count on one hand the number of cases or legal arguments that I have seen put forth by a plaintiff or defendant’s counsel for that matter, that were not founded on a reasonably based legal argument. This certainly may be one to add to the list.
Unfortunately, this case will give the tort deformers out there who are determined to eliminate the rights of victims and who desire to slam the courthouse doors shut on those that most need our protection, more ammunition to fuel the fire. What a shame!