Connecticut Driver Caught Speeding Blames an Oreo

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Police say a man’s excuse for speeding through a small Connecticut town takes the cake — or, at least, the cookie.

A state trooper who stopped the 1993 BMW says its driver, 28-year-old Justin Vonkummer of Millerton, N.Y., blamed the driving problems on an errant Oreo.

Police say Vonkummer told the trooper that an Oreo had just slipped from his fingers as he dunked it in a cup of milk, and that he was trying to fish it out when he lost control of his car.

The alleged incident occurred last fall in Salisbury, but came to light in Bantam Superior Court this week.

That’s when prosecutors learned Vonkummer had been charged with speeding and driving under a suspended license — not driving under the influence, as a clerk had mistakenly noted in the court records.

Vonkummer’s attorney would not comment. The case is pending

Man With Headache Finds Bullet in Head

Thursday, June 28, 2007
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla Fox News

Honey my head is killing me, either you hit me with your elbow or I think I’m having an aneurisum.

I wonder if this is what Michael Moylan 45, said to his wife April when he woke up at 4:30a.m. with a terrible headache?

She drives him to the hospital

Doctors discover a bullet in his head lodged behind his right ear

Authorities obtained a search warrant for the couple’s home which led to the arrest of Moylan’s wife April, 39, who is being charged with attempted murder.

Evidence indicated Moylan had been shot at close range by someone (hmm, and that would be?)

His wife eventually tells authorities she “accidently” shot her husband. (accidently, close range behind right ear sure sounds like an accident to me…. lol)

How many people can be sleeping, get shot in the head or anywhere and not know it.  This blows (no pun intended) me away. 

Obviously there is more to this than meets the eye which I’m sure will be uncovered as they investigate further.

Moylan did not undergo surgery, but was transferred to a trauma facility and his current condition is not known.

Judge Rules in Favor of Dry Cleaner in $54 Million Lawsuit Over Lost Pants

Monday, June 25, 2007-Judge Rules in Favor of Dry Cleaner in $54 Million Lawsuit Over Lost Pants

Judge loses his pants and his $54 million lawsuit as court rules in favor of dry cleaners.  Not only did Pearson lose his case but he was also ordered to pay court costs of the dry cleaner’s owners.

“A reasonable consumer would not interpret ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ to mean that a merchant is required to satisfy a customer’s unreasonable demands” or to agree to demands that the merchant would have reasonable grounds for disputing, the judge wrote.

Reporter’s Notebook: Day 2 of the Case of the $54 Million Pants

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
By Griff Jenkins

It is unprincipled people like Pearson that causes misery for everyone else. How selfish can one person be to think they should be rewarded $54 million dollars for a pair of pants. Totally ridiculous.

WASHINGTON — Day two of the case of the $54 million pants opened much in the same fashion as the trial had begun, with plaintiff Roy Pearson needling specific statutes and interpretations of them, prompting more wasted hours of clarification-seeking from Judge Judy Bartnoff.

On the second day, I wore an equally outrageous pair of Lily Pulitzer pants as on Tuesday’s court date, and I had a better seat —- in the jury box, just feet away from the action.

When Judge Bartnoff came in the courtroom, she caught a glimpse of my pants and smiled. But soon after, Pearson began going back to issues from day one, namely his divorce case, and Judge Bartnoff took charge, dismissing Pearson’s effort to re-try his divorce settlement.

Pearson’s remaining issues over evidence and “settlement demands” prompted Judge Bartnoff at one point to say, “I don’t know what we’re doing at this point … I thought we were talking about evidence?”

After a short break, the cross-examination of Pearson by defense attorney Chris Manning began. Manning proceeded to force Pearson to address his bitter divorce, his financial woes and his first encounter with the Chungs in 2002 which resulted in a compensation check of $150, which Pearson had demanded.

Manning asked Pearson if it made him mad when the dry cleaners lost his pants and Pearson said, “No,” adding, “My temperament, generally, is I don’t get angry.”

That shocked most everyone in the room considering the guy is seeking $54 million in retribution in this case.

The real crux of the cross-examination came when Manning began trying to illicit Pearson’s definition of what is a “reasonable” interpretation of a sign that reads: “Satisfaction Guaranteed”

Manning asked directly, “Is it reasonable to sue someone for upwards of $67 million?” And after several attempts at waffling, Pearson finally answered, “Yes.”

A window into Pearson’s aggressive pursuit of the pants in 2005 came when Manning confirmed with the witness that Pearson had sent a letter to the Chungs demanding $1,150 compensation (despite the Chungs producing the pants that matched the receipt) or else he would “sue them for not less that $50,000.”

Nonetheless, Pearson maintained throughout the cross that he was entitled to “unconditional satisfaction” under the Washington, D.C.’s Consumer Protection Act.

After the cross, the plaintiff rested at which point Manning immediately requested a ruling asking for a “move for judgment as a matter of law on all claims.”

Judge Bartnoff made a partial ruling denying Pearson’s claims with regard to the one sign that read “Same Day Service.” Bartnoff cited a lack of evidence and told Pearson the sign simply meant same day service was an available service at the cleaners — not a guaranteed service every time — particularly when not requested, as in Pearson’s case.

Judge Bartnoff ended her ruling by telling Pearson, “you’re simply reading things into it that just aren’t there.”

But in the matter of the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” sign and the dispute over whether the pants produced were or were not Pearson’s, no closure was reached and the room broke for lunch.

After the break, Manning began his defense calling just three witnesses: a community activist who testified favorably on the contributions of the Chungs to the community; a customer of the cleaners who believed that the Chungs provided “very good service” and said his interpretation of “Satisfaction Guaranteed” meant if the Chungs couldn’t resolve a problem then they should compensate the customer for the cost of the clothing item “and nothing more.” The final witness was the co-owner of Custom Dry Cleaners, Soo Chung.

Mrs. Chung became very emotional and broke down sobbing during her testimony when Manning began to ask about the toll that the case has taken on her business and her life. Judge Bartnoff called for another break, and when the testimony began again, Soo Chung once again began crying, though she was able to answer that she had suffered “economically, emotionally and healthwise too.”

It’s worth noting that the drama was heightened some by the mere fact that the testimony was done through a Korean translator as Mrs. Chung does not speak fluent English. But in the end, Pearson at least had the good sense not to cross examine her.

Closing arguments got a bit heated between Judge Bartnoff and Pearson when things delved into an argument over what Pearson was entitled to in terms of statutory and punitive damages. I’m no lawyer, but I was a little surprised that rather than making a sort of coherent and impassioned plea for his case, Pearson continued citing statutes and cases that proved his claims under the Consumer Protection Act.

Manning’s closing argument was quite different. He painted Pearson as “one man who ruthlessly abused the legal system” and caused enormous harm to his clients. He cited Pearson’s divorce, financial status, history of litigiousness and a “wrath against the Chungs” since 2002. He ended his closing argument saying it is time to “support the idea of common sense… and wake up from the American nightmare created by Roy Pearson.”

When it was over, Judge Bartnoff chose not to issue a ruling from the bench but said a ruling can be expected by the end of the week. The decision didn’t exactly surprise me since Pearson has proved that he is a stickler for technical details, or perhaps Judge Bartnoff just wanted plenty of time to ensure the accuracy of her ruling.

At the press conference with the Chungs immediately following, Manning said he was “extraordinarily happy with how the trial went” in what he described as an “incredibly frivolous lawsuit.”

Pearson again chose to ignore the media.

Judge Tries Suing Pants Off Dry Cleaners has reduced his damange to $54 million

Published: June 13, 2007

And so the trial begins.  This is the latest update from my previous post of The man who sued his dry-cleaner for $65,500,000

WASHINGTON, June 12 — Roy L. Pearson Jr. wanted to dress sharply for his new job as an administrative law judge here. So when his neighborhood dry cleaner misplaced a pair of expensive pants he had planned to wear his first week on the bench, Judge Pearson was annoyed.

So annoyed that he sued — for $67.3 million.

The case of the judge’s pants, which opened for trial in a packed courtroom here on Tuesday, has been lampooned on talk radio and in the blogosphere as an example of American legal excess. And it has spurred complaints to the District of Columbia Bar and city officials from national tort reform and trial lawyer groups worried about its effect on public trust in the legal system.

“I don’t know of any other cases that have been quite this ridiculous,” said Paul Rothstein, a professor of law at Georgetown University. The trial, laced with references to inseam measurements, cuffs and designer labels, got off to a rocky start. Judge Judith Bartnoff of District of Columbia Superior Court limited Judge Pearson’s last-minute bid to broaden aspects of his case and cut short his efforts to portray himself as a “private attorney general” championing the rights of every Washington consumer.

“You are not a we, you are an I,” Judge Bartnoff said in one of several testy exchanges with Judge Pearson, 57, who is representing himself. “You are seeking damages on your own behalf, and that is all.”

Later, while recounting the day he says the cleaners tried to pass off a cheaper pair of pants as his, Judge Pearson began to cry, asking for a break and dabbing tears as he left the courtroom.

The lawsuit dates back to spring 2005. Mr. Pearson, a longtime legal aid lawyer, was appointed to a new job as a District of Columbia administrative law judge.

Judge Pearson says in court papers that he owned exactly five suits, all Hickey Freemans, one for each day of the workweek. But the waistlines had grown “uncomfortably tight.” So he took the suits to Custom Dry Cleaners, in a strip mall in gritty northeast Washington, for alterations.

When the owners, Korean immigrants who came to America in 1992, could not find one pair of pants, Judge Pearson demanded $1,150 for a replacement suit. The owners did not respond; he sued.

Using a complicated formula, Judge Pearson argues that under the city’s consumer protection law, the owners, Soo and Jin Chung and their son, Ki Chung, each owe $18,000 for each day over a nearly four-year period in which signs at their store promised “Same Day Service” and “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” In opening statements, Judge Pearson cast himself as a victim of a fraud on a historic scale, perpetrated by malicious business owners who had no intention of delivering on those promises.

“You will search the D.C. archives in vain for a case of more egregious or willful conduct,” he told the court. He called a series of witnesses who complained of rude or unresponsive treatment at Custom Dry Cleaners.

The defendants’ lawyer, Christopher Manning, told the judge that his clients were the victims. He characterized Judge Pearson as a man embittered by financial woes and a recent divorce, who had nursed a grudge against the Chungs since a spat over a different pair of pants in 2002.

“The plaintiff has decided to use his intimate knowledge of the District of Columbia laws and legal systems to exploit non-English-speaking immigrants who work in excess of 70 hours per week to live the American dream,” Mr. Manning says in court papers.

Mr. Manning said there was no mystery about the whereabouts of the pants: They have been hanging in his office closet for a year. Judge Pearson, however, has said those are “cheap” knockoffs the Chungs had substituted for his pinstriped Hickey Freemans.

He has rejected three settlement offers, the latest, in March, for $12,000. Last week, Judge Pearson revised a few claims and lowered his damages request to $54 million.

Judge Pearson’s future as an administrative law judge is in limbo. His two-year term expired on May 2, and a judicial panel has yet to decide on his reappointment.

In the meantime, Judge Pearson remains on the city payroll as an attorney adviser to the Office of Administrative Hearings, at a salary of $100,512.

Wendy’s Manager Shot Over Chili Sauce

For the record, please note Wendy’s limits the number of chili packets to a customer!!

This was just too funny not to post and also one that I thought should belong in a book of “craziest crimes”.

MIAMI, Fla. (AP) — A manager at a fast-food restaurant was shot several times in the arm early Tuesday trying to protect the chili sauce, authorities said.

A man in the Wendy’s drive-through argued with an employee because he wanted more of the condiment, police said. The worker told the customer that restaurant policy prohibited a customer from getting more than three packets.

The man insisted on 10, reports said. The employee complied, but police said the customer wanted even more.

The manager came out to speak to the man, said Miami-Dade police spokesman Mary Walter. The customer then shot the manager, who was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The customer fled in his vehicle with a female passenger, authorities said.

Kidney-donor TV show a hoax, producers admit

POSTED: 5:38 p.m. EDT, June 1, 2007

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuters) — A Dutch reality television show in which a supposedly dying woman had to pick one of three contestants to whom she would donate a kidney was revealed as an elaborate hoax on Friday.

The show, which the broadcaster had said aimed to focus attention on a shortage of donor organs in the Netherlands, was condemned by Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende before broadcast Friday night and sparked controversy worldwide.

Identified only as “Lisa,” the 37-year-old woman who had been said to be suffering from a brain tumor was to base her selection on the person’s history and conversations with the candidates’ families and friends.

In the last minutes of the program, she was revealed as a healthy actress and producers stunned viewers by saying “The Big Donorshow” was a hoax.

The contestants were also part of the deception, although all three are genuine kidney patients.

“Their life is bitter reality,” the host said after revealing the deception, just at the moment at which Lisa was to have stated her choice.

Dutch Education Minister Ronald Plasterk hailed the show as a “fantastic stunt” and an intelligent way to draw attention to the shortage of donor organs.

Heated debate expected

The show is expected to set off heated debate between those who believe reality television has gone too far and others who believe the publicity was generated for a good cause.

Producers apologized to viewers and said they hoped “outrage” over the show would turn into anger over the lack of organs for transplant.

Viewers in the Netherlands were asked to give advice via text messages in the 80-minute show, and appeals ran throughout for people to donate their organs.

Early in the show Lisa was shown selecting three people from 25 candidate profiles who matched her blood group.

“It feels like playing God,” said a fraught-looking Lisa. “Think of it as playing Santa Claus,” replied the show’s host.

The show had set off a storm of criticism, both at home and abroad, though some kidney patients said ahead of the show that they approved of it because it drew attention to their plight.

Balkenende had said the show was detrimental to the whole business of organ donation and it would do the reputation of the Netherlands no good abroad, Dutch news agency ANP said.

Dutch embassies received complaints from people expressing their shock over the show.

Public broadcaster BNN, which came up with the idea, said it wanted to draw attention to the growing shortage of organ donors in the Netherlands.

“Money has never been part of this thing, and no money will be made from this,” said BNN Chairman Laurans Drillich.

Callers to a local radio station had suggested the whole thing could be a hoax by BNN to build up its ratings.