BRIDEZILLA: Woman’s payback at vengeful bride
A BRIDEZILLA has been made to pay $115,000 to a wedding photographer she attacked online for nearly a year, ruining her business.
The New York Post reports photographer Kitty Chan was forced to shut down her business Amara Wedding in January 2017 after bride Emily Liao set out to destroy the business "with all her might" - all because she was unhappy with pictures, The Toronto Star reported, citing a court judgment.
Liao, from British Columbia, Canada, signed a $6000 contract for Chan's business, to handle photography and all other aspects of her July 4, 2015, wedding, including flowers, decorations and hair and makeup specialists.
But the blushing bride went berserk after receiving her pre-wedding photos, which were shot by another professional photographer and not Chan.
"Emily testified that she was dissatisfied with them due to what she described as their poor quality, quantity and repetition," British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Gordon Weatherill wrote in his judgment.
"She also testified that Kitty assured her that the concerns would be resolved once the proofs had been touched up and edited."
Liao refused to pay the remainder of her contract with Chan and badmouthed her business on a slew of English and Chinese language blogs and sites, such as Facebook, VanPeople, Weibo, Wechat and Blogger.
The posts claimed Amara Wedding "was a major scam shop and deceitful photography mill business engaged in extortion, dishonesty, unfair practices, bait and switch and other dirty tactics," Weatherill said in court papers.
Chan said her business reputation was ruined by the viral posts, which continued until July 2016.
"In the Chinese community, a lot of businesses rely on word of mouth," she said.
"So when they found out we were a so-called 'scam shop,' all the readers were shocked too."
Liao sued Chan in small claims court but her case was dismissed. Chan wound up winning the $115,000 judgment in her countersuit.
"This case is an example of the dangers of using the internet to publish information without proper regard for its accuracy," Weatherill wrote.
"Emily, and others who think it is acceptable to use the internet as a vehicle to vent their frustrations, must be given the message that there will be consequences if their publications are defamatory."
Chan - who won $75,000 in general damages and another $40,000 for aggravated and punitive damages - was happy with the judge's ruling but said the money will never bring back her business.
"What I have lost has already gone, so I don't think anything can compensate that. I want to prove to people that they have to face any consequences when they say something on the internet," Chan told CBC News.
"We know how bad it could be when a rumour is spreading on the internet, but I have never thought this will happen to me."
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.