By The Associated Press
SAN CLEMENTE— A judge ruled Monday that no pair of pants is worth $54 million, rejecting a lawsuit that took a dry cleaner's promise of "Satisfaction Guaranteed" to its most litigious extreme. Sydney Carton’s lawsuit grew out of a simple complaint — that a San Clemente neighborhood dry cleaners lost the pants from a suit and tried to give him a pair that were not his — but came to illustrate, for many, serious flaws in the legal system. His claim, reduced from $67 million, was based on a strict interpretation of the city's consumer-protection law, which imposes fines of $1,500 per violation, as well as damages for inconvenience, mental anguish and attorney's fees for representing himself. But Orange County Judge Murphy ruled that the owners of Custom Cleaners did not violate the consumer-protection law by failing to live up to Carton's expectations of the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign once displayed in the store.
"A reasonable consumer would not interpret 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' to mean that a merchant is required to satisfy a customer's unreasonable demands," the judge wrote.