Unfortunately, I get this questions a lot. Unfortunately, the threat of a lawsuit by an angry client is real. With websites like Legal Zoom providing the gun-powder for the legal do-it-yourselfers, the potential is out there. Here are two common lawsuits that are brought against Wedding DJs.
BREACH OF CONTRACT
Out of all the claims that are brought against Wedding DJs, this one is the most common. A breach of contract to a DJ service contract occurs where the wedding professional either doesn’t provide the services promised, or fails to deliver the entirety of the services promised.
The more successful lawsuits against wedding DJs are those in which the DJ didn’t show, or was either late or left early. The less successful lawsuits involve the allegation that the DJ’s services, both as a ‘performer’ or ‘MC’ of the event, were substandard. For example, being lifeless, consistently not playing the correct music, consistently not playing the music agreed to beforehand, or failing to perform at the proper cues.
If the client is successful in such a lawsuit, the Court will award ‘expectation damages.’ Expectation damages will be computed as placing the client in the position that he or she would have been had the DJ not breached. For example, let’s say the DJ agreed to a 5 hour set at $200 per hour (total contract price of $1000). In the event that the DJ leaves an hour early, the expectation damages would be $200. The client would also be entitled to any other incidental expenses. For example, in the same scenario, if the DJ leaving early forced the client to keep a wedding planner around for an extra hour, the DJ would be responsible for that cost as well.
Misrepresentation is a claim that the DJ intentionally misstated (or omitted) a material term of the contract, strictly for the purposes of getting the client to sign the contract. Most often, this occurs when a DJ misrepresents experience with events involving special cultural knowledge, like Hindu weddings or Bah Mitzvahs. As many professionals know, the DJ must be able to navigate various, sometimes somber, rituals and festivities, and be sensitive to what the act represents. Where the DJ ‘fakes’ their resume or puffs up their experience, and then fails to provide services in the manner promised, the Client may have grounds to sue for misrepresentation. Misrepresentation is an ‘intentional tort.’ So what does that mean? Well, if successfully proven, the Client can request ‘general damages,’ the legal term for ‘pain and suffering.’ This can be very expensive. Ouch!