In early May, I wrote about an example of a likely frivolous lawsuit. If you recall, the drycleaning business in that case lost a pair of pants and the Plaintiff originally demanded compensation totalling $65,000,000 even after the business compensated him for the lost pants. In my earlier posting, I suggested that our system of justice has legitimate safeguards to prevent frivolous litigation from moving forward indicating that:
I can only hope that we focus the same attention on this lawsuit when it gets dismissed so that we can confirm that our judicial system works.
Well just this week, the judge assigned to the case dismissed the frivolous lawsuit. The judge also directed the drycleaning business to submit briefs on the question of whether the plaintiff should face sanctions and attorney’s fees to repay the defendants’ litigation costs.
The judge reviewed the allegations in the lawsuit and made a reasoned decision to dismiss it and give serious consideration to sanctioning the Plaintiff for demanding such outrageous damages and proceeding forward with frivolous litigation.
If the evidence shows that a case is frivolous and should never have been filed, fortunately, the offending litigant can be sanctioned to prevent future frivolous conduct. The result in this case reinforces my opinion that our system of justice works and does not need wholesale changes. Plaintiffs who file frivolous cases should face sanctions but this drycleaner lawsuit does not mean that our judicial system faces a large number of frivolous lawsuits. In my opinion, frivolous drycleaner cases do not clog our courts. In fact, to the contrary, I believe that the overwhelming number of civil lawsuits in our court system today involves claims which have merit. Additionally, I believe that this drycleaner lawsuit presents an example of why our system of justice works. Do you believe differently?