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Thursday, September 20, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Costly lawsuit took D.C. shop to the cleaners

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The owners of a dry-cleaning business who were sued for $54 million over a missing pair of pants have closed and sold the shop involved in the dispute, their attorney said Wednesday.

The South Korean immigrants are citing a loss of revenue and the emotional strain of defending the lawsuit. They will focus on another dry-cleaning shop they own, said their attorney, Chris Manning.

Soo Chung and her husband, Jin Nam Chung, faced more than two years of litigation after a former customer at Custom Cleaners alleged they had lost a pair of his pants and sued for $67 million under the District of Columbia's consumer-protection act.

Plaintiff Roy Pearson, a local administrative-law judge, later lowered his demand to $54 million. He said the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service" mottos of the shop were misleading and fraudulent.

The case went to trial in June and a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the Chungs, awarding Pearson nothing. Pearson is pursuing an appeal.

The Chungs incurred more than $100,000 in legal expenses, which were paid with help from fundraisers and donations.

Even after the trial ended favorably, Manning said, the Chungs lost customers and revenue.

Pearson did not respond to a request for comment.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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