WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CN) – A couple who were married in a “ceremony focused on Arthurian legend,” with “medieval costumes” and a “specially trained falcon as the ring bearer” claims their wedding photographer not only screwed up his assignment, he defamed them in a “legal handbook” he wrote on how to photograph weddings.
It’s not the first time Lee Darrow and Nanci Ponne have sued Norman Phillips and Norman Phillips of London in Lake County Court. The married couple say they sued Phillips for breach of contract in 1998, after he allegedly screwed up his wedding assignment.
They claim that “despite the extensive planning and research that went into our wedding ceremony,” Phillips “failed to professionally or even adequately photograph the wedding,” and “failed to take the particular photos requested by the plaintiffs.”
In addition to the falcon, the “unique ceremony” included “specially designed and highly stylized medieval costumes, many of which were provided by Medieval Times, including knight costumes for the ushers. Other guests dressed in their own medieval-like costumes.”
The couple say they settled with Phillips in 2000, and that the agreement was binding and confidential. It stated: “This agreement resolves all disputes between the parties and the settlement shall be confidential and this shall be binding on all parties, counsel and experts,” according to their new complaint.
They say Phillips breached the agreement by writing and publishing a defamatory book, the “Wedding and Portrait Photographers Legal Handbook.” They say the book contains details about their wedding and the ensuing litigation, and reveals the amount of the settlement the plaintiffs received: $10,500.
In his book, the couple say, Phillips claims, falsely, that they did not pay all of the money they owed him and that they filed “a meritless suit in order to ‘obtain monetary reward’ or to ‘gold dig.'”
They also sued Christopher Nudo and Amherst Media. They seek disgorgement of profits from the book and compensatory and punitive damages for breach of a settlement agreement, defamation, false light, invasion of privacy, and unjust enrichment,
They are represented by Eric F. Rinehart with Malia & Rinehart of Waukegan.