(Closed) To sue…or not to sue.

posted 9 years ago in Food
  • poll: Do I take the caterer to small claims court?



  • Post # 17
    2790 posts
    Sugar bee

    What about trying mediation or arbitration? Make the threat of a lawsuit and let him know if he does not start responding in a timely manner that you will be sure to write a bad review about him on every single website you can find.

    Post # 18
    166 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Unfortunately, you need to look at your contact you signed. Courts go strictly by documents and not as much by he said/she said. I know its frustrating what you’re going through but you have to look at what was signed and agreed upon and then weigh out the time/money/ the potential to lose your case. I’m not saying you are in the wrong as the caterer failed to deliver on many aspects. Good luck!

    Post # 20
    239 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    Instead of sueing, and before writing bad reviews, I’d try telling him just what you think of his service. Then tell him that you’re giving him one chance to make it better by offering a partial refund. Suggest all the bad publicity you’ll cause, and maybe even hint at sueing, and see if he coughs anything up. Your major points, from what I can see, are not having the proper amount of food (no matter what else he says, I’d say he owes you the price of 10 servings back), the pork in the rice (not providing what was agreed upon, again), and the bartender being inexperienced. The servers not doing their job would be hard to argue unless you were actively watching them all night.

    Ugh, that pork in the rice thing makes me the maddest. It’s like, you expect to get food that’s free of dog crap. If they added dog crap on accident, then picked it out, would it be ok? NO! That’s how big of an adversion some people have towards pork.

    Post # 21
    91 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Not sure which state you live in but in CA if you sue in small claims your cost to sue is roughly about $170-190 (court filing fees and process server fees).  There are no attorney fees as you will have to represent yourself in small claims (no attorneys in small claims allowed).

    With that said, your damages (what you may be awarded assuming the judge finds they breached their contract with you) would be the 10 meals which they did not provide. There would be no damages for anything else because technically the service in which you contracted for was provided to you just provided to you poorly. 

    Assuming the above is true, your potential award is not worth the filing fees and time taken off from work to present your case at small claims.

    What I would suggest is write a letter to the vendor, explain to them your concerns and at most demand for a refund for the cost for the 10 meals as thats what you would be likely to be awarded from the court.

    Hope that helps with your decision and good luck to you.


    Post # 22
    149 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    If he doesn’t offer a refund, at least partial, I would go to your lawyer and have him write a letter to try to push it in the right direction. If not, check into court fees for small claim. Caterers, especially for weddings, are typically not cheap and I’m willing to bet that unless you paid a very small amount for it, assuming the judge ruled in your favor, you’d get at least some of your money back.

    Post # 23
    311 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    Whoa… Sue? If your contract states certain things, just bring it to them and ask for a deduction. Suing seems like huge overkill for the situation. Things like this go wrong all the time. If you feel so strongly, take your contract stating terms and ask for some money back. Otherwise, I’m sure most of your guests has a good time anyways and forget it.

    Sorry, but it seems picky. Shit happens. Suing is outrageous.

    Post # 24
    1550 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    suing someone costs a LOT of money, most likely more money than you even paid them for the catering.

    i understand you are frustrated, but i would try and look for some alternatives. suing is messy and takes forever, you don’t want to deal with that!

    i do think that the picking pork out of the rice thing is pretty insane. but i don’t know if you could sue someone for it.

    Post # 26
    1902 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    If you have a written contract of the services the caterer said they were going to, like an email and all their targets were missed, then I would definately start out writing a letter of formal complaint.

    Give them 2 weeks to respond. If no reply or they will not accept fault, consider taking it further (aka sueing)

    The service they provided you with was appalling. I understand late food and a few tiny blips, but picking out pork out of the rice then saying it is vegetarian?

    No way – don’t stand for it! This was your most important day, and they let you and your guests down!

    Good luck!

    Post # 27
    15023 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    For me?  I probably woudn’t bother.  The more I focus on it and have to deal with it, I’d probably start to get more and more annoyed and be afraid that general feeling would just make me feel worse about the wedding.  You said the wedding turned out GREAT.  Take the great day and just move on with married life.  Unfortunately there’s no do-over or lesson learned for next time unless you ever need a caterer again, but I just dont see how dragging it out or getting him to admit fault, is going to change anything.  ARe you looking for a partial refund??

    Post # 29
    3165 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    your uncle bartended? assuming your uncle isn’t licensed, that’s actually a huge no-no. it’s not allowed and that bartender could lose his license and be fined – in my state anyway it’s the bartender’s responsibility to make sure that no one else is serving drinks at any venue that a person is paying to use. not sure if your uncle would get in trouble but if not, that’s something you could also use as a pointy stick if he doesn’t offer compensation.

    Post # 30
    76 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @NeileeB:share the name of company, please- 



    Post # 31
    5920 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: December 2010

    View original reply
    @NeileeB: This isn’t out of the ordinary though.  As an event planner, if a client has to have things out of the room before the next day, it is your responsibility to make sure they are out.  I have worked with numerous rental companies who charged “after hours fees” to pick up items after the reception.

    He obviously should have told you though! Not cool to just charge you.  That’s shady, for sure.

    The topic ‘To sue…or not to sue.’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors