When a Colorado woman died in a car crash, her fiancé not only faced grief, but also the threat of a lawsuit from the videography company the couple planned to use at their wedding.
Justin Montney lost his bride-to-be, 22-year-old Alexis Wyatt, in February. He told local news station KRDO that with his wedding canceled, he tried to get a refund for the $1,800 deposit paid to Copper Stallion Media, the videography company they had hired for the big day.
The company said the deposit was nonrefundable, and when Montney persisted, they not only refused the refund, they also threatened to sue him, Montney said. The company also created a website using his name — JustinMontneyWedding.com — which they used to rebut Montney's claims.
Copper Stallion Media said they did so after Montney went to the media and posted negative comments about them on the wedding planning website The Knot. The company says Montney and his fiancée signed a legally binding contract on November 29, 2019.
His fiancée died in February and a few weeks later, Montney emailed Copper Stallion Media to tell them the wedding was off.
"We replied and expressed our sympathy and explained to him that all of our wedding contracts are non-refundable," the company writes online. "He kept emailing us trying to get a refund and we kept reiterating that the contract is non-refundable. We eventually stopped responding since the issue was moot."
The company explains that non-refundable deposits are "the industry standard," and that they'd had to "block that date off in our calendar so no one else can book that specific date." They said two videographers had been booked and were counting on the paycheck.
The company claims Montney emailed them in May asking again for a refund and saying "that a presence will be taking place on social media." He then told his story to the TV station. "In the news story he admits that the contract was non-refundable but says we should give the money back due to the circumstance. Life is a bitch, Justin," the website reads.
Copper Stallion Media accused Montney of creating a "smear campaign" and says they have since "received numerous emails, phone calls and comments online." They posted email exchanges with Montney and a flurry of bad reviews they received on social media referencing the case after he publicized his story.
In one email exchange quoted on the website, Montney writes: "Well then I would like to push my reservation for 10 years from now in case I ever get married! That or I could have a refund and I can even send you a picture of the death certificate. I would either like to still receive the services I am forced to pay for with the death of a party on the contract, OR a refund."
He also wrote that other venues were understanding during the tragedy. "Please let me know what options I have going forward," Montney concludes the email, which Copper Stallion Media apparently did not reply to.
Montney told KRDO he believes that, since these tragic circumstances were beyond his control, the company should honor his request.
On JustinMontneyWedding.com, the company also included what they called "harassing voicemails" from Montney and others who called to defend him. In one message, Montney says he understands the contract and that it is non-refundable. "But have you guys ever heard of decency at all?" he asks. "You guys are disgusting, I hope your company burns to the ground."
CBS News has reached out to Montney and Copper Stallion Media for comment and is awaiting response. The company's Instagram page is now private and its Facebook page appears to be disabled.