Wedding Photographer Liable for Faulty SD Card?
Videographer had faulty SD card apparently (no proof) lost 50% of wedding day footage, can we claim more than just money back.: We paid to have our entire wedding day filmed which we saved for two years to have. Our wedding videographer had an apparent faulty SD card and lost 50% of our day, all memories lost and footage of alot of things that cost a lot of money and we expected to have them filmed. We were recommended this videographer and werent told until the night before that we wouldnt have him film our wedding day but one of his Freelancers instead, not happy with just our money back and would like more than compensation although will not replace memories.
Response (from Attorney Rob):
I’m sorry to hear that you lost footage of half of your wedding. Videography and still photography are about the only things that last from the wedding day, so the loss of a portion of that is a true loss indeed.
Can you make a claim against the photographer for more than just the money that you paid in total? Very, very unlikely.
By losing half your footage due to a faulty SD card, the videographer is in breach of the contract that you signed. In claims for breach of contract, the plaintiff (you) is entitled to be put into a position that he/she would have been had the contract been fulfilled. In this situation, you should have 100% of the footage, and the videographer should have 100% of the contract value. Because you only received half of what you bargained for, your damages are going to be right around half of the contract value.
Unfortunately, in contract litigation, remedies beyond the expectation damages are generally not awarded. In other words, pain and suffering or mental anguish damages will not be given, even though this is your wedding we are talking about. Further, as my colleague mentioned, contracts may have a provision called a ‘limited liability’ clause, which, in some cases will limit the damages strictly to the value of the contract. You would need to look at the contract you have and see if that language is present.
In regards to the ‘freelancer’ that showed up, again, it will be necessary for you to review your contract to see whether the videographer has the ability to ‘assign’ his duties. Oftentimes, service providers, in the contract, will reserve the right to send someone in their place. It’s possible that this videographer did the same.
If the videographer is willing to provide you the edited footage (that still remains) and a full refund, then I think that you have salvaged as much out of this sad situation as you can.
Again, sorry to hear about this misfortune and I wish you luck on the new marriage!!
Moral of the Story: This is a good example of why written contracts are so important.