Wasting no time this morning, Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled in favor of Custom Cleaners, saying they had not violated the D.C. Consumer Protection Act by failing to satisfy Judge Roy Pearson as to the whereabouts of his pants, despite having posted a sign reading "Satisfaction Guaranteed." Pearson will receive approximately zero of the 65 million dollars he originally claimed.
According to Post reporter Marc Fisher, Judge Bartoff’s ruling (which I haven’t personally read yet) is "extremely cautious and detailed," spanning some 23 pages. While she seems to have been very restrained and not particularly critical of Judge Pearson, she did award the defendants their costs in the case and will decide later whether to award them their attorney fees, which seem to have been considerable.
Basically, Judge Bartoff ruled that "Satisfaction Guaranteed" does not create an absolute, unconditional guarantee. Instead, she held, any unfair-trade-practice claim alleging a failure to meet expectations is measured by the expectations of a reasonable person. Her rejection of the proposed whatever-it-takes-to-satisfy-Roy-Pearson legal standard is something of a setback for Roy Pearson, but a step forward for common sense.
Link: CBS News
Link: Washington Post (with link to decision)
Link: Marc Fisher (Washington Post)