WASHINGTON — A judge ruled Monday in favor of a dry cleaner that was sued for $54 million over a missing pair of pants.
The owners of Custom Cleaners did not violate the city's Consumer Protection Act by failing to live up to Roy L. Pearson's expectations of the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign once displayed in the store window, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled.
Bartnoff ordered Pearson to pay the court costs of defendants Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Y. Chung.
Pearson, an administrative law judge, originally sought $67 million from the Chungs, claiming they lost a pair of suit trousers and later tried to give him a pair that he said was not his. He arrived at the amount by adding up years of alleged law violations and almost $2 million in common law claims.
Pearson later dropped demands for damages related to the pants and focused his claims on signs in the shop, which have since been removed.
Chris Manning, the Chungs' attorney, argued that no reasonable person would interpret the signs to mean an unconditional promise of satisfaction.
The Chungs said the trial had taken an enormous financial and emotional toll on them and exposed them to widespread ridicule.
The two-day trial earlier this month drew a standing-room-only crowd and overshadowed the drunken driving trial of former Mayor Marion Barry.
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