Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Satisfaction Guaranteed" Does Not Mean You Get $67 Million When the Laundry Losses Your Pants

The crazy lawsuit in which Judge Roy Pearson sued a clearners for losing his pants has finally been settled. The court ruled against him on every issue denying him the millions he had requested. (See A "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign does not mean you get to determine the value of the unsatisfactory service. As we all expected, just compensation is determined by industry custom.
Pearson’s claims regarding the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” sign are premised on his interpretation that the sign is an unconditional and unlimited warranty of satisfaction to the customer as determined solely by the customer, without regard to the facts or to any notion of reasonableness– a position he has consistently advocated both in the trial court and on appeal. ...Indeed, in his trial testimony, he confirmed that in his view, if a customer brings in an item of clothing to be dry cleaned, and the dry cleaner remembers the item, and the customer then claims that the item is not his when the dry cleaner presents it back to the customer after it has been cleaned, the dry cleaner must pay the customer whatever the customer claims the item is worth if there is a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” sign in the store, even if the dry cleaner knows the customer is mistaken or lying.

In fact, every Custom Cleaners customer who testified, other than Pearson, testified that if Custom Cleaners lost or damaged an item of clothing, Custom Cleaners should reimburse them only for the value of the clothing. This interpretation coincides with the interpretation of the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” sign given by Soo Chung.

Thus, the trial court, showing basic common sense, rejected this unlimited view of a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” sign, relying instead upon case law generally supporting the position that, as with a common law fraud claim, a claim of an unfair trade practice is properly considered in terms of how the practice would be viewed and understood by a reasonable consumer.

No comments:

Post a Comment