Tort Reform

Topics: Tort, Tort law / Pages: 13 (3026 words) / Published: Apr 17th, 2011
Tort Law and Cases:
A Comparison of Two Cases and Their Potential Frivolity8/22/2010


“A tort is a civil wrong resulting in injury to a person or property”; that is brought before a court to compensate the injured party (Bagley & Savage, 2010, pg 251). In order to prove an intentional tort, the following conditions must be met: 1) Intent 2) Voluntary act by the defendant 3) Causation 4) Injury or Harm.
The following tort cases, Pearson v. Chung and Liebeck v. McDonalds, have been a pinnacle “poster child” for tort reform in the United States. In 2002, frivolous lawsuits cost taxpayers over $233 billion (, 2006). What is considered a frivolous lawsuit? It is when an attorney files a suit that they are aware is without merit, lacking legal arguments, and no basis for the claims. (, 2010) Each of these cases, at first glance, presents like a frivolous lawsuit, but after delving into the facts, new appreciation is given to our current legal system. Whether one agrees with the verdict or not, one does come away knowledgeable, as a critical thinker, in deciding the merits of each case based on the facts and evidence presented in each case, and not by the media hype.

Pearson v. Chung Facts
The Chung family immigrated to the United States in 1992 and opened various dry cleaning businesses, including Custom Cleaners in 2000. From October 1999 until May 2005, Mr. Pearson patronized Custom Cleaners on numerous occasions. In July 2002, Mr. Pearson brought in a pair of pants for cleaning or alterations, which went missing. The Chungs agreed to compensate Mr. Pearson for the loss of the pants at a value of $150. Mr. Pearson continued to patronize Custom Cleaners, even after the Chungs requested that he not, until May 3, 2005, when Mr. Pearson brought in numerous suits for alterations. The last items to be brought in for alterations was a Hickey Freeman suit, which was blue and burgundy pinstripe, and a

References: * Harriet ALICKE v. MCI COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION, 111 F.3d 909 US Court of Appeals District of DC, Retrieved on August 22, 2010 from LexisNexis Academic database. * Pearson v. Chung, 05 CA 4302 B (Superior Court of DC) * (2006). Lawsuit Abuse Statistics. Retrieved on August 21, 2010 from * Frivolous lawsuits law & Legal Definition. Retrieved on August 21, 2010 from * LaMance, K. “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone” Signs in Restaurants Legal? Retrieved on August 20, 2010 from * PEARSON v. CHUNG. 961 A.2d 1067, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS, 2008. Retrieved on August 22, 2010 from from LexisNexis Academic database. * (2009). The Facts of Pearson v. Chung. Retrieved on August 19, 2010 from * The 'Lectric Law Library (1996). The Actual Facts About - The Mcdonalds ' Coffee Case. Retrieved on August 19, 2010 from

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