A B.C. bride has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 to a wedding photographer for unleashing an online torrent of defamatory comments that eventually destroyed the business.
The B.C. Supreme Court judgement finds the attack on the integrity, ethics and reputation of Amara Wedding and its owner, Kitty Chan, was carried out by bride Emily Liao “with all her might.”
The decision says Liao hired Chan to photograph her July 4, 2015, wedding and provide a package of services valued just over $6,000, but days before the nuptials, Liao disapproved of the pre-wedding photos and stopped payment.
Chan’s staff completed the contract and withheld the photos and videos pending full payment, prompting Liao to begin a small claims action that ended in 2016 entirely in favour of the photographer.
But before the small claims decision, Justice Gordon Weatherill says Liao maintained an “unrelenting” assault using Chinese- and English-language social media sites to accuse Chan and her business of everything from “lying to consumers,” to “extortion” and “fraud.”
Weatherill has awarded Chan a total of $115,000 in general, aggravated and punitive damages, finding there is “no coincidence” between the start of Liao’s cyber tirade and the sudden evaporation of Chan’s previously healthy wedding business.
The Canadian Press