In the old days, whoever had the biggest stick won. We've evolved to the point that, now, whoever has the highest paid lawyer wins, with the advantage that no matter how much you use a lawyer, it won't snap into pieces.
As long as the legal system has been around, people have been trying to find ways to fuck with it. From plaintiffs to lawyers to judges, it looks like we've perfected the art.
Exhibit 1: The most expensive pants in the world
Power corrupts, and absolute legal power makes you retarded. Thus, Judge Roy Pearson launched a lunatic legal siege on a dry cleaners over a lost pair of pants, claiming $67 million compensation. If you just said, "$67 dollars? Those must have been some nice pants!" then you should know that you skipped a word.
Clearly these $67 million pants were stitched from the Turin Shroud using threads picked from the canvas of the Mona Lisa. To reclaim his loss, Pearson adapted the legal system into a game of "hunt the poor people," pursuing the immigrant owners of Custom Cleaners for over two years.
Pearson claims the cleaners lost the pants to a $1,000 suit. They claimed they found them later that week, but he disagreed. They then offered him $12,000 compensation, but he demanded the more reasonable figure of $67 million, which we've repeated a number of times now in case your eyes blocked it out before to protect your sanity.
Photo altered by Cracked
After two full years of everyone on the planet telling him he was totally insane, he lowered the claim. To $54 million. You might recognize that as 50,000 times the cost of the original item, which he claimed accounted for his inconvenience and mental anguish. The legal fees ($80,000) nearly drove the cleaners back to South Korea until a community effort raised the money to pay the bill. Which means that, holy shit, Roy Pearson is the villain from a Disney movie.
He lost the case, lost his job as an Administrative Law Judge, was divorced by his wife, and faces bankruptcy. Upon realizing he'd become the star of a heavy-handed parable, Peterson apologized to the world and said he'd learned valuable lesson about the evils of materialism and the availability of more pants. Ha, no, not really. He filed for the court to reconsider the decision, and when they refused, he launched a full appeal.