This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," June 13, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
VAN SUSTEREN: Today was day two in the trial over the missing pants. You may have heard about the not-so-small and rather unbelievable case. Washington, D.C. Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson claims that Custom Cleaners lost his pants two years ago, and he's mad about that, but now madder about the signs posted in the store guaranteeing customer satisfaction.
He is suing now for $54 million, and today he was cross-examined. Chris Manning is the lawyer who represents Custom Cleaners. He joins us. Chris, you did bring along the pants which started all of this. Let me take a look at these pants.
CHRIS MANNING, ATTORNEY: I did. Here they are.
VAN SUSTEREN: Sort of interesting that my producer in New York wanted to know about the cuff of the pants. Did the cuff come up? Was there a discussion about the cuff to these pants, or something?
MANNING: Mr. Pearson purports that he doesn't like cuffs on his pants. And these pants obviously have cuffs, which he says proves to some extent that somehow these are not his pants.
VAN SUSTEREN: So he says these are not his pants.
MANNING: These are absolutely his pants.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, and how do you know that?
MANNING: Not only did my client know these are his pants because she recognized the three belt loops whenever she found the pants subsequently, but this tag exactly matches the receipt.
VAN SUSTEREN: The laundry tag or the cleaner's tag right there.
MANNING: Exactly matches the receipt that he had.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So this is, just to quickly bring the viewers up, he brought his pants in to have some stuff done to them. He went back two days later, they couldn't find them. They subsequently said here are your pants. He then later got mad and said, “Customer satisfaction.” So now he is suing not about the pants but about the sign, because he said he was not satisfied.
MANNING: He's alleging that the sign was misleading, but—
VAN SUSTEREN: And fraud — $54 million worth. All right. He was on the witness stand today. How was he?
MANNING: I think that what we did was expose his case for the ridiculous, frivolous case that it is. I think that that was pretty persuasive today.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm not sure you had to do anything to expose. I mean the idea of suing the dry cleaners for $54 million sort of speaks for itself. Your work is sort of not cut out for you.
MANNING: You know, in that respect, you are right. But, I think that we exposed his theory of liability under the Consumer Protection Act. Not necessarily just the damages, but the theory of liability as being completely ludicrous.
VAN SUSTEREN: If he had sued for $4,000 over that, he might not have been ridiculed so much, and his lawsuit might have been at least given a little more attention.
MANNING: You know, you are right. I think that we got to trial because a judge thought that there was some merit to the case, at least as it relates to whether or not these are his pants.
But the real problem here is not only the breadth of his claims but also the amount. Sixty-seven million or $54 million is completely ridiculous.
VAN SUSTEREN: He cried yesterday?
MANNING: He did cry yesterday.
VAN SUSTEREN: What happened that he cried?
MANNING: I think Mr. Pearson was upset, pretty profoundly, in relation to the transaction that occurred, basically, over his pants. Basically he was very upset that my client said that these were his pants when he knew that they were not his pants.
VAN SUSTEREN: He cried about that?
MANNING: He did.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I have been in that courthouse. Is it standing room only? Are the people coming in to watch this trial?
MANNING: There were a lot of media and it was standing room only, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: I assume everyone thinks it's peculiar when he is crying about his pants when he got up on the witness stand.
MANNING: You know, I think it was bizarre, but I don't think as bizarre as his entire case is.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, have you rested? I mean, he finished presenting his evidence. You have now cross-examined and presented your evidence, or is there more testimony to be taken?
MANNING: The trial is done. Now the judge is taking some time to consider a very carefully written opinion.
VAN SUSTEREN: The judge didn't decide this one today?
MANNING: No, the judge did not. I think the judge wants to take some time to ensure that she is very clear with respect to how she is disposing of these claims.
VAN SUSTEREN: I can't help but think of the money that is spent on even her taking the time to decide this case when maybe she should have decided it. Because this is costing the taxpayers a lot of money and a lot of cases aren't getting to trial.
MANNING: I think it is. And I think that it's not a focus on the judge in the case. I think it's a focus on the claimant, Mr. Pearson, and how ridiculous this case is, and how it's binding the courts up, and there are so many other cases that should be heard, not a case over pants.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, we await the verdict, and come on back when you get your verdict, and we'll see if you won or lost. Anyway, Chris, thank you.
MANNING: Thank you.
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