Family sues El Dorado County venue after pandemic postpones wedding

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EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — For almost a year, an El Dorado County venue was to be the dream setting for the wedding of Melanie and Steven. Then, the coronavirus pandemic swept the world. 

“On the 29th, when the shelter in place was extended, my daughter immediately reached out and she said, ‘Hey, obviously, we’re going to have to move this.’” said Melissa Porter, Melanie’s mother. 

That’s when Porter said the chaos began. 

With her daughter in the National Guard, finding a date in the fall that worked for both the venue and the family just was not going to happen. 

So, Porter said they wanted their money back. The reimbursement has yet to happen from the venue called Lehman Barn in Shingle Springs, according to Porter and her attorney. 

“If you want to say that COVID-19 is an act of God, then the contract is void,” said attorney Jonathan Stein. “If you want to say, ‘Well, we have a government shutdown because of the shelter-in-place order,’ then the contract is void. A void contract means they have to refund their money.” 

The venue issued a statement to FOX40, which reads in part: 

We have made every attempt to offer premium available fall 2020 dates as well as 2021 dates to our couples whose weddings have been affected by the COVID-19 event.

Lehman Barn

The venue owners also added that they already used resources. 

“We cannot refund the full amount of the contract due to that investment in the decision made by the client to cancel to all event options with us after generous locations were offered,” said the owners. 

Porter explained that they never technically canceled. She also said the package they paid for was only for the location and that catering and other needs were not the responsibility of the venue. 

“My choice was to engage an attorney because I needed somebody to slay a dragon for me,” said Porter. 

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