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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3522
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Hi I'm a wedding photographer. At a recent wedding I took

Resolved Question:

Hi
I'm a wedding photographer. At a recent wedding I took a bag from the groom and gave it to my assistant to hold. Once that session was done my assistant put the bag down on the grassed area where we had been taking the photographs and my assistant and I both went back to the bridal room to finish those photographs.
The bag was subsequently stolen. The police investigation has established the theft had nothing to do with me or my assistant.
The bride is now indicating I (my company) is liable for the loss of the bag as I had it last. The bag and contents were worth approximately £1200 (brides figures).
Can you tell me if I am liable for this loss please?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. When you agree to provide your services, do you have any terms and conditions that include a carve out that states you are not liable for indirect or consequential loss? Did the groom ask you to hold the bag? Kind regards AJ

Customer:

I have a contract however it does not state explicitly that I am not liable in that way. The groom did not ask me to hold the bag, I took it off the groom and gave it to my assistant to hold and keep off the damp ground. Thanks Andrew

Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you. Ultimately you are the wedding photographer, not the event organiser and in charge of these sorts of things. The groom should be responsible for his own bag and invited you to hold it briefly. I would not agree that you are liable for this, it is indirect and consequential and you did not volunteer to take responsibility for the bag.

Alex J. :

Furthermore if they were to sue you and claim £1200 they would have to prove this loss.

Alex J. :

Has she given you a break down of the £1,200?

Customer:

The bride has only told me the bag and contents were worth £1200; she has provided no proof or evidence for this. They realised the bag was missing around the time of the wedding breakfast however they didn't report it to the police until the day after despite advice from me and the hotel staff to report it immediately. (not sure if that would have a bearing on the case or not.)

Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you. Without any proof of the value I certainly would not be volunteering to pay £1,200. I would deny any liability - make sure you do so in writing. Make it clear that you were only hired to be a photographer and cannot be liable for any indirect or consequential losses. If anything the theft happen on the grounds of the hotel and therefore they should be claiming from the hotel for the loss.

Customer:

I've been denying this since the 2nd August when the incident occurred; verbally and in writing. She has just mentioned in an email about taking legal action against me; hence checking with you before seeking further legal advice locally myself.

Alex J. :

Thank you. If she tries to sue in the county court, she will have to prove (1) That you were responsible for the bag - if you have never admitted responsibility for it then it will be your word against hers and as you were the photographer not responsible for personal possessions this will be hard to prove;

Alex J. :

(2) She will have to prove £1,200 is the loss.

Alex J. :

I would consider writing to her and saying that (1) You have denied all liability (2) It is an offence under S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 to pursue someone for money they dont owe.

Alex J. :

Really at that point if she wants to bring a claim it is her prerogative, and you will have to defend it if she does.

Customer:

Thanks - appreciate the help and setting my mind at ease. I have now added (another!) section to my contract regarding this and spelling it out explicitly. Ill leave mention of the Justice Act 1970 out for the time being as I feel it may just inflame the situation further. Thanks again. Andrew

Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3522
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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