The saga continues. Remember that story we posted at the beginning of the year about the newlyweds who were suing their wedding photographer over a wedding album cover? How would you feel if we told you that the photographer has struck back with a suit of her own against the couple for damages associated with defamation of character and reputation for upwards of $1,000,000?
For a brief refresher, the newlywed Moldovans claimed that their wedding photographer, Dallas-based Andrea Polito, was holding their wedding photos hostage until they paid for a wedding album cover that was not in their contract. The Moldovans contacted Polito a few months after their wedding to order the wedding album that was included in their contract as a "40 page 8.5x12 storybook album with up to 80 images." Polito told them they needed to first select a cover for the album, which would start at $125 and would be outside their $6,000 contract already paid to Polito. Many increasingly heated emails later led them to lawsuit number one, now Polito is striking back with guns blazing and a lawsuit that might cost the Moldovans anywhere between $200,000 and $1,000,000 dollars.
As a response to the initial January lawsuit against Polito, Polito published an "Open Letter" on her own blog in which she defines commitment as "missing your own brother’s wedding for the wedding of a couple you had already committed to photograph" and "having a miscarriage at 6 months on a Thursday, and persevering to show up at a wedding two days later because, regardless of what was going on in my life, this day was about someone else’s happiness." Now Polito can add filing a lawsuit for defamation of character onto her list of definitions of commitment.
In the case documents filed by Polito, Polito's attorney opens with the following statement:
"This is a case about APP’s [Andrea Polito Photography, Inc.] clients, the Moldovans, who sought local media to publish a story based on defamatory and disparaging statements about Polito and APP to exact unjustified revenge for their personal benefit; who republished the story on various social media and electronic forums, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, emails, and text messages to harm Polito and APP; and who directed business away from Polito and APP. To further destroy Polito and APP’s reputation and business, the Moldovans engaged in a smear campaign taken worldwide on many websites and different forms of media. The Moldovans took pride and pleasure in the harm they caused, bragging they were “pretty sure her business is done.” The Moldovans’ tortious actions have damaged Polito’s personal and professional reputation, caused her extreme emotional distress, and already caused, and will continue to cause, substantial economic damages to APP."
The fillings go on to defame the Moldovans as a couple with malicious intent and speak for Polito and her reserved nature.
"Polito is a private person and has shied away from the limelight during her career. Unfortunately, her successful business and privacy came to a screeching halt when the Moldovans happily decided they would destroy her business in local, national, and social media."
"The Moldovans’ statements attacked Polito’s character and APP’s business practices, and subjected Plaintiffs to public hatred, contempt, ridicule, and impeached their honesty and integrity."
"As a consequence of Defendants’ wrongful acts described above, Plaintiffs have suffered actual and consequential damages. Plaintiffs seek general and special damages, including damages associated with mental anguish, injury to feelings, and injury to character and reputation. Prior to the Defendants’ remarks, Polito (and APP) enjoyed an excellent professional reputation, receiving favorable reviews from clients and others."
The case brought forward by Polito pins the Moldovans for leading a "smear campaign taken worldwide" with the sole intent to seek "unjustified revenge for their personal benefit." It is also reiterates in the case that the plaintiff, Polito, has suffered serious mental anguish and severe stress due to what is being considered intentionally maliciously behavior by the Moldovans which has ultimately led to serious harm to Polito's Dallas-based business. Considering this story started about what should have been a minor album cover dispute, the tides have certainly turned.
What do you all think? Does Andrea Polito inspire the rights of all small business owners or was the couple justified in their case?
The filing can be found at http://courts.dallascounty.org/ and listed under case number DC-15-03069
Image courtesy of http://www.politoweddings.com/index.html