Todd Remis Rights New York Times Account of Contract Dispute


Todd Remis Addresses New York Times Version of Contract Dispute


There are two sides to every story, including the sensationalized half story given to the media recently by a disgruntled litigant, H&H Photographers.  But facts are stubborn things, and here are a few more which did not get reported.


In 2003, Todd Remis and his fiancé hired H&H to take pictures and video at their upcoming wedding at Castle on The Hudson.  There was a signed contract, and Todd paid H&H $3,500 in advance, as required.  The wedding took place on December 28, 2003.  It was a wonderful event for the bride and groom, except for their interactions with H&H.  For instance, when the couple asked the H&H photographer not to set up the formal photos in front of a large mirror because they feared the flash would reflect off it, he refused to move.  During the last 45 minutes of the wedding reception, neither the photographer nor the videographer could be found because they left early without telling anyone.


When the newlyweds returned from their honeymoon, they visited H&H eagerly anticipating a beautiful recreation of their wedding.  They were sadly disappointed with what they saw, and to make matters worse, they felt they were treated rudely by H&H when they raised their concerns.  Photos taken in front of the mirror, as it turned out, did reflect camera flashes and glare spots, along with images of assorted equipment and people in the background - just as H&H had been warned.  The video was a disappointment, and owing to the absentee videographer, did not include the last dance and bouquet toss among other moments of the wedding.  Still, Todd and his bride were not looking for a fight.  They were newly married and in love.  So when an owner of H&H promised to make things right and deliver the corrected photos and the agreed upon video, they shook the H&H representative's hand, and went home.


After that, they waited, and waited some more.  And then still some more.  Phone calls to H&H were not returned.  Nothing arrived from H&H.  In the meantime, years went by and life intervened.  There was a divorce, and although amicable, it was not easy.  The couple and their families remained in touch.  For Todd the silence from H&H bothered him.  It wasn’t so much that they still had his $3,500 all these years, as it was their failure to deliver after a promise and a handshake.  Todd asked himself, how could a business treat a customer this way?  So, Todd decided to do something about it.  But that something was not a lawsuit.  It was simply a letter.  In August, 2009, Todd wrote to H&H, reminded it of its long ago promise and asked that H&H follow through.  H&H’s response?  To send Todd a bill for the remainder of the contract price, plus interest, for wedding photo albums and video he never received, coupled with a threat to refer the matter to a collection agency.  So there is no doubt about these facts, read Todd's letter to H&H and H&H's response.  Facts are stubborn things indeed.


With no other means of redress, Todd responded with the now famous lawsuit.  Zealous representation by lawyers on both sides further polarized the situation. H&H's attempt to have the case dismissed failed when its motion was denied by a judge in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan.  Apparently unhappy with its lack of success in court, H&H undertook a different tack - a media campaign to try and embarrass Todd, an attempt to try the case in the court of public opinion, where there are no rules of evidence, just sensationalized headlines. 


H&H provided the press with information including documents not in the public record as well as posing for pictures for the New York Times, for an article written by Joseph Berger. Also, H&H omitted important information about its own conduct from its campaign. It did not explain why it kept $3,500 of a customer's money while failing to deliver on its promise all these years.  It did not explain why it had threatened Todd with a collection action if he did not pay more money.  The result?  Todd was unfairly mischaracterized and portrayed in the media as a "Groomzilla" and worse.


But courts exist for a reason.  One reason is so that consumers who feel mistreated by a business can petition them to seek a remedy, which is exactly what Todd is doing.  And unless and until a reasonable settlement can be accomplished, he will have no choice but to pursue his case against H&H in a court of law where it will finally be resolved by a jury of his peers, who are neutral and not interested in, or part of, a media campaign.