Here’s a little follow up on some of my recent posts.
You may remember Roy Pearson as the US Administrative Law Judge who is suing his dry-cleaners for US$64M over a pair of suit pants, which were allegedly lost.
Well, believe it or not, they’ve gone to trial. Pearson hasn’t seen the light and settled. Perhaps he’s so far in that he can’t see a way to back down gracefully.
The drawing above is by AP, taken from the Sydney Morning Herald’s article on the topic. Pearson is on the left, the Chung family are on the right.
Apparently Pearson broke down in tears on the witness box when discussing the emotional distress he had suffered, including a divorce and financial troubles. If I were a judge, that wouldn’t impress me. Surely Pearson can’t be saying a pair of lost trousers caused his divorce and financial troubles? If he’s not saying that, how on earth are his divorce and financial troubles relevant to his claim?
I know US law has a concept whereby injury can be too remote for a plaintiff to make a successful claim. I seem to recall Justice Cardozo in Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y.C.A. 1928) said that you can’t be liable for damage that is unforeseeable or too remote. That case involved a woman who was injured by a set of scales falling on her head. How did the scales fall on her head? Well you might ask! I just can’t stop myself from relating the facts to you, because they are crazy. A passenger was being helped onto a train by a conductor, when the conductor caused the passenger to drop the package he was carrying, which was a simple package wrapped in brown paper. Unbeknown to the conductor, the package contained fireworks, and they exploded when they fell onto the rails. The resultant shock wave apparently dislodged a pair of scales which were hanging on the wall at the other end of the platform, and the scales fell on Mrs Palsgraf’s head and injured her. The train company was not liable, according to a majority of the New York Court of Appeal.
Legal Eagle will be watching this space to see what happens. I sure hope Pearson goes down. And gets a major costs order awarded against him.
Hot on the tail of the sad story of the Chapman family (bullied for being ginger haired) comes advice that teasing red heads in the workplace could constitute bullying. So leave those ginger kids alone! Yeah!
(Thanks to the lovely Oanh for the link to this one).