Tearful Testimony in $54 Million Pants Lawsuit

After enlisting neighbors and fellow customers, he sought to expand the case into a class action suit, but was denied, angrily, by District of Columbia Civil Judge Neal Kravitz.

"The court has significant concerns that the plaintiff is acting in bad faith and with an intent to delay the proceedings," the judge wrote in court papers. "Indeed, it is difficult to draw any other conclusion, given the plaintiff's lengthy delay in seeking to expand the scope of the case, the breathtaking magnitude of the expansion he seeks, his failure to present any evidence in support of the thousands of claims he says he wishes to add, and his misrepresentation concerning the scope of his first amended complaint."

The case will now be heard by another judge. Both Kravitz and the new judge declined to comment on the case to ABC News.

Ironically, less than a week after Pearson dropped off the missing trousers in 2005, Soo Chung said she found them. She tried to return them to Pearson but he said they were the wrong pants.

The Chungs said they are certain they have located the missing trousers.

"So these are the missing pants, huh?" ABC News asked the Chungs' attorney, Chris Manning, last month.

"These are," Manning said, holding up a flimsy pair of gray trousers. Manning's argument is based on both the receipt and the tell-tale "three belt loop situation," as he explains it.

"When the pants were brought in, Chung noticed the three belt loop situation and in finding them, realized that they were Mr. Pearson's pants," Manning said.

He also said the receipt tag on the pants "exactly matches the receipt that Mr. Pearson has."

The Chungs told ABC News that they have spent thousands of dollars defending themselves against Pearson's lawsuit.

"It's not humorous, not funny and nobody would have thought that something like this would have happened," Soo Chung told ABC News through an interpreter. Her husband agreed.

"It's affecting us first of all financially, because of all the lawyers' fees," Jin Chung said. "For two years, we've been paying lawyer fees. And we've gotten bad credit as well, and secondly, it's been difficult mentally and physically because of the level of stress." Later, Soo Chung broke down in tears.

"I would have never thought it would have dragged on this long," she said. "I don't want to live here anymore. It's been so difficult. I just want to go home, go back to Korea."

"I've been in the dry cleaning business for 14 years, but this has never ever happened before. If anything happened to our customers' clothing, we would always compensate them accordingly and fairly," Jin Chung said through a translator.

When ABC News first wrote about the case last month, reaction so was so overwhelmingly supportive of the Chungs that a defense fund was established on the Internet, according to their attorney Chris Manning.

"Justice has become disconnected from its purpose, which is to draw the lines of right and wrong,'' Howard, of Common Good, told ABC News. "Somebody has made up a logical theory of 'well, there's a statute that gives me a $1500 fine and if I multiply that by 400 days and I add emotional stress and puntative damages and...they owe me $60 million!

"Well, it's absurd. Everyone knows it's absurd," Howard said. "The judge should dismiss it and say 'maybe you've got a claim in small claims court for a couple hundred dollars but that's it. Case dismissed. But judges in America don't think they have that power.

"The victim here is all of society,'' Howard said at another point. "Where teachers are afraid to put their arm around a crying child and there's a warning label on every product.''

ABC News' Sarah Baker and ABC News Law & Justice Unit producers Elizabeth Tribolet, Mary Harris and Lauren Pearle contributed to this report.

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