A year and a half ago we picked up a story off of NBC, where a couple (the Moldovan) claimed that their wedding photographer (Andrea Polito) held them hostage unless they paid extra charges for album cover (you can read our original story here). That was a big story, and the unique situation spread through the media like a wildfire. It was picked up by all the major photography blogs, some major non photography blogs and a few other media outlets.
Well, the trial hasn’t even started, but preliminary actions are definitely in favor of Polito.
Here is the thing, while the story was not “done” and many media outlets kept the reporting as a rolling story, updating on the defamation suit, Polito’s business was crushed. According to the case documents:
Instead of booking 30 to 40 weddings as she had in January and February of previous years, and approximately 75 events for an entire year, Polito booked only two weddings between January and June 2015 when her response to the motion to dismiss was filed
While the case is still going, I think it is clear where it is heading too. At this stage of the case, the Moldovans tried to dismiss the trial under a formality, and the return from the system was quite strong. Here is a brief excerpt:
- We first conclude that Polito and APP offered clear and specific evidence that the Moldovans published defamatory statements. In their original petition, Polito and APP pleaded that twelve groups of statements published by the Moldovans were defamatory
- We next conclude that Polito and APP offered clear and specific evidence of statements by the Moldovans that were defamatory per se. Although none of the statements criticized Polito’s skill as a photographer,8 all of them assert that Polito and APP were “dishonest in [their] fees.”
- Next we conclude that the defamatory statement was the cause of damages to Polito and APP. Polito and APP introduced evidence that over 350,000 people viewed the story around the world. Many responded by posting negative comments on Polito’s Facebook page and on websites for reviews of wedding-related products and services
I wonder how much this case will end for.