The much publicized lawsuit by a sitting D.C. administrative judge, seeking $67 million for a lost pair of pants, is a cruel perversion of the justice system. The plaintiff has done immeasurable damage to the hard-working defendants, immigrants from South Korea, to legitimate plaintiffs, the justice system, and, one would think, to his self-respect. The anti-justice forces, aka “tort reformers,” use travesties such as this case, to argue for ever narrower rights for legitimately injured citizens. Recall how much hay they made with the McDonald’s hot coffee case, a verdict which on its facts, was not necessarily wrong, and which was substantially reduced by the trial judge. The lost pants case will become legend for years. It will be retold in anti-justice literature, on radio talk shows, and ultimately in the halls of state legislatures, and the Congress. Though sanctions for frivolous lawsuits, should be rare, this case cries out for sanctions, and dismissal of all but the small claims aspect of the case. Every legitimate plaintiffs’ attorney should condemn the lawsuit. I do. The case has nothing to do with the justice system, or, justice.
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