Attorney Fees

Judge Knocks Pants Suit

Posted Aug 17, 2007 9:13 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Washington, D.C., judge says a dry cleaner’s claim for attorney fees in a lawsuit over lost pants was not frivolous. Her assessment about the administrative judge’s initial $67 million claim isn’t as favorable.

Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled against Roy Pearson’s claims last month. Now she writes in an order that an award of attorney fees to the winning party in such a case would be unusual—and this case appears to fit the bill, the Washington Post reports.

"This is an unusual case, in which the plaintiff attempted to take what was at best a misunderstanding about one pair of pants and expand it to a claim of $67 million, based on legal theories that--once they clearly were articulated--were unsupported in fact or in law," the judge said.

Pearson, who later dropped his damages claim to $54 million, is appealing the verdict. The dry cleaners has withdrawn its claim for attorney fees because it has raised enough money to pay its lawyers.


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