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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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We re Photo Booths and a new product called The Magic Mirror

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We hire Photo Booths and a new product called The Magic Mirror Booth.
At a recent event we had an issue with guests misbehaving them selves and breaking the equipment. We sent an email to the bride and her father who's hotel was the venue for the reception and where the incident occurred (Please see email below we sent and reply from the Bride Katie and her father Jeremey both of which are short and sharp and not very helpfull) Can you please advise what we should say next to make them aware there reply is not satisfactory and if we can persue them in any other way for the damage. We have asked for event insurance details but so far they have not been supplied. We have Public Liability Insurance ourselves for any damage or claim against us.
Kind regards
On 23 May 2016 at 11:40, wrote:
Dear Katie / Jeremy
Re Magic Mirror Booth Hire 21st May 2016
As you are aware we had to leave your wedding reception early on 21/05/16 due to unruly behavior by your guests and persistent remarks by one of your guests wishing to damage the Magic Mirror hired by yourselves. (we can supply a picture of the guest if you would like to meet with us). During one particular incident despite repeated warnings the guests (picture available) fell onto our equipment pushing it backwards and knocking it over. These guests acted with total disregard towards our staff despite clear and repeated requests to keep back whilst using the Magic Mirror by our on site attendants Beverley and Gareth.
I am saddened to say that during the incident these guests have damaged the touch screen which we have worked on and repaired but will monitor to see if it is OK, our RX1 flash unit picture of damage can be supplied and frame of our equipment which may require attention by the manufacturer in the future. I have yet to obtain the cost to replace these items by the original equipment manufacturer and our labour spent to remedy and clean the equipment following the drinks spilt etc onto the Magic Mirror during the incident. Please can you supply your insurance details for us to make a claim.
We have no issue with yourselves in as much as you were not directly responsible for your guests behaviour but found those responsible to have no respect for us despite the repeated warnings and requests that culminated in the damage being done.
On a personal note Bev my partner with whom you met and personally ran the event has not come across anything like this before and it was the last thing we ever expected to have happened at your wedding and at this beautiful location. She arrived home distressed and crying and I felt angry that she was placed in a situation like this.
We would be happy to meet you to discuss the issue and come to a conclusion on how you would like to proceed.
Kind regards *****
Dear Leigh,
Thank you for your email, we have just returned from my honeymoon. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to assist. Any claim you wish to make should be against your own insurance.
Kind regards,
Dear Leigh
Further to your email dated 23rd May. My daughter will be back from honeymoon after the 30th May and will respond personally to you.
Kind regards

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Hi Sorry. I opted out by accident. What would be your ideal outcome in this situation so that I can look at your options. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure where we stand. They do not seem to want to part with any insurance details so that we make a claim against their insurance. Events are held by the brides father at this location so I am sure he would have insurance in place but also I would have expected the Bride to also have accidental damage insurance. I don t know what options there are in situations such as these. we have only been trading for a year and this is our first experience of any thing like this. I would have liked a more sympathetic answer and and offer to meet us as I would have done if it was my wedding and my guests had been so direspectfull.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think I would have offered to replace anything my guests had damaged but perhaps I am not the norm!

Unfortunately not everyone has the same view. OK, well thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Many thanks for your patience. It is a difficult situation, I appreciate. Not only was your equipment damaged, but there is a more emotional side to it as your attendants were distressed by this incident and also you appear to be brushed off by the bride, when you were hoping for a more sympathetic response. I would say it is best to try and detach yourself from the emotional side and just concentrate on the legal position, which I will try and explain below.

First of all, you cannot force them to disclose details of their insurance. They may not even have any. You can of course ask them for these details but they are entirely free to withhold them. However, if you were to eventually make a claim then they could be forced to rely on such insurance to answer any liability they may have in the circumstances. So it is never too late to get these details, even if you have to take matter further first.

In terms of liability, that would be the difficult one here. You hired the booth out to the couple, or one person, under contract. So your contractual relationship will be with whoever was on the other side of the contract. However, you did not let them use the booth themselves so that you transferred full responsibility of it to them. You had attendants there to operate and look after it. The damage was caused not by the parties to the contract, but by someone else, a third party. So the couple could try and argue that it was not them who caused the damage and they did not have responsibility for looking after the booth at the time as you had attendants doing that job. Therefore, it would be the person who caused the damage that would be responsible – it was their direct negligence that caused the damage to your equipment.

On the other hand, going back to basic contract law, your contract was with the couple, so they would have contractual responsibility in some ways. Just be mindful that a court could decide that it is the party who caused the damage that should be legally responsible rather than the people who hired the booth.

You may however still pursue the couple in the hope that this prompts them to rely on their insurance to resolve this. Alternatively they may supply the details of the responsible party so you can pursue them directly.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the formal steps you need to follow to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have left a 5 star rating and tip for you help and advise. Please can you let me know the formal steps to take this further as I think it would be helpful to write to them stating the intention and if there is any further information or advice you can give it would be much appreciated even if just for future reference! Thank you for your help. Kind regards Leigh,..

Thank you. So whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.