Patterico's Pontifications

10/21/2007

The Case of the Lawyer-Bride and Her Florist

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 12:28 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog has been alive this week with the story of newlyweds Elana Elbogen and David Glatt and their dissatisfaction with the flowers provided at their August wedding. The florist’s bill was almost $30,000 and Elana, a NYC lawyer, her husband and his mother have sued Posy Floral Design Studios pro se for almost $400,000 asserting breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and state law claims.

Here’s plaintiffs’ complaint.

Many WSJ commenters have been unsympathetic to Elana and her family but it seems the complaint states a viable claim for relief, while the florist’s failure to respond to Elana’s post-wedding complaints doesn’t help its case.

— DRJ

11 Responses to “The Case of the Lawyer-Bride and Her Florist”

  1. Good for them.

    The best part of this story is that the publicity is going to ruin the florist’s business.

    My wife and I had our wedding cake screwed up by a very prominent pastry guy in Lake Tahoe. We had a small, but very expensive wedding on a Sunday.

    When we called to confirm the cake on Sunday morning, it was clear from their reaction that they had gotten the date wrong. The cake that arrived 8 hours later was wrong in many respects, and was only a pale imitation of the picture we had provided.

    I should have made more about it at the time, but chose to just let it pass. I’ve never recommended the guy to anyone else, though I know he’s a great pastry chef — just careless.

    wls (fb8809)

  2. Yeah, it’s really “great” that this is going to ruin the florists business.

    Sure, I know she should receive compensation for the wrong she suffered, but I don’t see how ruining the florists reputation and business over one incident is all that great.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. I’m one who sees frivolous lawsuits everywhere (got me out of jury duty once!) but this looks reasonable to me. $400K seems a might high for a resolution–maybe “double your money back” for $60K plus court costs? But then, this is New York City.

    (We did a wedding last year with about $3K in flowers, so this one is in another universe.)

    Per wls, they better move quickly, cause Posy’s likely to soon be out of business!

    ManlyDad (d62cf6)

  4. Christoph — the florist had more than one opportunity to make it right. This reeks of “bait and switch”. So screw-em. The florist only has himself to blame.

    wls (fb8809)

  5. What is very interesting is how the media cut and paste parts of the complaint to portray the bride as a bridezilla. They made it seem as if it the bride was suing because they flowers were the wrong color. if you read the actual complaint, it seems quite legitimate. The people who crucified her on the WSJ post and elsewhere clearly did not read the entire complaint.

    samantha (ef95fa)

  6. if you spend that much money in flowers and are dissatisfied, the least that the florist could have done was respond to her various emails after the wedding. It’s ridiculous that they never addressed her concerns, especially if items she paid for were missing. I bet florists do this all the time. they got their big pay check; what did they care?

    marc (ef95fa)

  7. Hell hath no fury like a princess finding out the whole world is not her daddy.

    nk (da3e6b)

  8. Very well put, nk.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  9. nk and Christoph:

    What is you’re suggestion as to what she should have done after the florist refused to respond, and was quite content to simply spend her money which he had not earned?

    wls (fb8809)

  10. She has a claim for breach of contract. The complaint starts getting thin after that. For sure, there is no claim for unjust enrichment when there is an express contract. I have my doubts about the refusal to accept a credit card as part of the basis for her fraud claim. Negligent misrepresentation may be a tort in New York, I don’t know. “Bait and switch” versus “not performing per sample” will be very hard for the plaintiffs to prove. They picked it for enhanced damages in my opinion.

    Reading the complaint in the light most favorable to her, she did not get what she bargained for. Everything else is just strategy to gin up damamges which, fairly, are the difference between what she paid for and what she got.

    nk (da3e6b)

  11. Three comments:

    1. The Plaintiff’s character.
    Vain Elana comes across as a pretty wretched specimen of a human being — not a rarity in the law racket. The true loser is probably David Glatt, the chump who married her. Of course, he’s probably a lawyer too, so there’d be as much heart in this marriage as any other pair of snakes mating. May they beggar each other in the inevitable divorce.

    Read that complaint with care, and you see that she isn’t even minimally honest. She complains about not getting a callback for “three days,” but if you check the calendar, she got a callback on Monday for a call left on Friday. Ghastly! She’s outraged that they wanted certified funds, when she didn’t pay till the last minute (this delay probably had something to do with her hydrangeas being “pink” and not “rust,” also. Oh, the humanity).

    2. The Defendant’s Error.
    It’s clear that it would have been a mistake to let her pay with some easily cancelled instrument. (You have to wonder how many of the other proles that toiled to put on this production for this ingrate got stiffed). But my second comment is, it’s probably a mistake for any small business to accept attorneys as clients under any circumstances. In our adversarial system, attorneys lie for a living and a significant percentage of them come to have the breeziest relationship with truth. Bear in mind that one in nine attorneys faces discipline charges (which normally do nothing, at the clubby do-nothing attorney-controlled hearings which keep no records and publish no transcripts) every year: most of them for stealing client funds, which they do with impunity.

    Not all attorneys are bad customers, mind. It’s just that bad 90% that ruins it for the rest….

    3. The Lucky Firm
    Since Elana the Vaina is reported to represent intra alia Britney Spears (another young lady of taste and discernment! They’re ideally matched), I’m sure her firm sees all this publicity as a bonanza! After all, it accords with the Hollyweird aphorism, “there is no bad publicity.” I’m sure every Wall Street firm desires to be known for its unbalanced, greedy, immature associates.

    Kevin R.C. 'Hognose' O'Brien (88bf29)


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