A wedding photographer in Dallas, Texas hit a windfall after thinking her business had been destroyed by a disgruntled bride and groom. Andrea Polito was awarded $1.08 million Friday, following a ruling against the couple who took to the internet to defame her.
The events leading to the finding in the photographers favor started three years ago. Polito was hired by Andrew and Neely Moldovan to photograph their October 2014 wedding and the festivities leading up to it. In the weeks following the wedding, Neely Moldovan started to email Polito, asking when she would receive the high-resolution photos. Polito reminded the Moldovans that, as stated in their contract, photos would be released when the album was completed. The couple was suppose to select a cover photo and submit an order form, which they had not done.
Following a back and forth that lasted a couple weeks, the couple objected to the $125 price for the cover of their wedding album. Polito had stated that she was ready to waive that fee, but it was too late. The couple had called a number of local tv stations and stated that Polito was holding their wedding photos hostage. After 13 years in business, basically overnight, this couple had destroyed her wedding photography business because they did not read their contract, or did not care what the contract stated. But the couple was not done. They took to social media to continue the attack.
The Dallas jury found Andrew and Neely Moldovan started a major campaign against Polito on social media. The jury found that it was malicious and false and that the photographer had been wrongfully attacked, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The Moldovans had actually bragged on social media that they were sure Polito’s photo business was done. In January of 2015 a local NBC affiliate interviewed the couple and it directly affected Polito’s business. In a typical year, she would book between 75 and 100 weddings. Following the social media campaign and interviews by the Moldovan couple, she booked two weddings for 2015. The following October she had to move out of the studio she had been in for a decade.
The Moldovans were found liable for disparagement, defamation and civil conspiracy, reports WFFA. The couple is ordered to pay Polito $1.08 million in damages. Now Polito hopes she can finally rebuild her Dallas business. Many of the negative reviews that hit online sites like Yelp towards her business have been removed for violating terms of the site, believed to be fraudulent reviews designed to defame Polito.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Instagram