Dallas Wedding Photographer Wins $1 Million in Liable Suit
03 August, 2017, 01:08 | Author: Rita Burton
Newly married couple Andrew and Neely Moldovan were so pissed at a wedding photographerAndrea Polito over a $125 fee that they made a decision to ruin her career, launching an online campaign against her business.
A Dallas County jury handed down a $1 million verdict after they decided a local couple defamed a prominent wedding photographer online and on air.
It began in 2014, Polito says, when Andrew and Neely Moldovan became upset with her over access to their photos, and what they thought were hidden fees.
Polito's attorney Dave Wishnew, with Gruber Elrod in Dallas, said Monday that the dispute focused on the defendants' objection to the contract stating they must pick a $125 photo album cover before Polito could turn over photographs taken of the rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony.
Polito said in the complaint that the Moldovans disparaged her by saying she "cheated", "scammed", and "blatantly stole money while holding pictures ransom and then adding on extra fees that weren't in [the] original contract".
But the couple objected to the cost and after emailing them, Polito said she had chose to absorb the cost to keep her customers happy. "I feel good about it, it's what's right". She even offered to waive the cost of the cover photo when she realized the couple's discontent with not having the photos.
The couple have in the interim declined to comment on the verdict and what compelled them to go on a mean spirited campaign against Polito.
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In her suit, Polito contends that her 13-year-old business was ruined nearly overnight.
Told Polito, 'People knew me and my reputation. "They took that away from me", the photographer said to Dallas News. In a typical year, she would book between 75 and 100 weddings.
"My business was destroyed overnight", she told CBS.
It's safe to say that it is Moldovan's reputation that is now the one at risk. The campaign included the couple taking their complaint to Dallas news stations.
"Proud to say that after a week long, hard fought trial, the jury returned a verdict of over $1 Million, including punitives, for Andrea Polito, who was defamed by two awful, shameful people", Polito's attorney, Dave Wishnew, writes. "Last Friday when the verdict was read I felt a little bit relieved, but most importantly I feel my reputation was restored to myself".
According to the suit, the Moldovans "liked" several defamatory statements published by other internet users, including one on Yelp that accused Polito of giving the reviewer AIDS. "What's been hard the past couple of years has been feeling so ashamed of this story".
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