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Wedding videography company denying refund after fiancee dies in crash in El Paso County

alexis-wyatt-and-fiance2

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Justin Montney lost his bride-to-be in a fatal car crash a few months ago near Calhan. Now, to add insult to injury, the videographer that was set to capture their wedding is denying a refund and threatening a lawsuit.

Montney reached out to KRDO for help after Copper Stallion Media threatened to sue him for defamation after he left a review on TheKnot.com explaining the situation.

Montney's fiancée, 22-year-old Alexis Wyatt of Colorado Springs, died in a car crash on Highway 24 near Calhan in February.

He told KRDO he paid $1,800 upfront to Copper Stallion Media, a Texas-based wedding videography and photography company. After multiple requests, he said the company has continuously refused to give him or Alexis' family a refund.

Montney told us he understands they signed a contract saying the payment was non-refundable, but he believes -- since these circumstances were beyond his control -- the company should honor his request.

We've called and emailed the company for a response. We're still waiting to hear back.

Colorado Springs / Local News

Julia Donovan

Julia is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Julia here.

Comments

227 Comments

  1. Sorry for your loss but no you’re wrong here. A contract is contractor’s contract. What would you have done if they didn’t show up to take pictures of your wedding? See A contract is a contract is a contract

    1. Yep, the company has the legal right to refuse to refund the money, and the guy has the right to tell people that’s what the company did.

      The company then threatened to do something they don’t have the right to do, sue for defamation (or, they have the right, but will lose miserably). Having the legal right to do something doesn’t mean you get to be free from people’s opinions about you doing it.

      1. I think the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) would cover the mourning fiancee for voicing his speech against a company and also cost the videographer a ton of legal fees if he couldn’t get past it since it can shift attorney fees. Buying the groom’s name as a domain name just to put harassing messages up isn’t the smartest move IMO

    2. Allison Davis of Copper Stallion Media died two years ago. I grabbed a screenshot of the announcement before they took it off their page. I’d post it here if I could.

  2. Their F/B page said that their client care employee took her own life because of the comments they received from this story. I am sure this is not the outcome that anyone expected.

    1. “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our client experience manager, Allison Davis. Allison took her own life earlier this morning. She had been a valued member of our team for the past two years and will be missed. Allison was a wife, mother, sister and daughter. ”

      This Blood Is On KRDO’s hands! Shame on KRDO! I hope they get sued!

      1. On what grounds would you sue KRDO? Reporting is not a crime, and they’re not the ones who made the comments. Sounds like you’re advocating suing them because of the “deep pocket” syndrome, which is probably the most ignorant reason.

      2. The Doctor is hilarious! I imagine Allison had a lot more going on than her J-O-B !!! Doctor of B.S!

      3. Other than this shameless company’s FB posting, how would you know her suicide had anything to do with this situation?

      4. It appears that the employee who committed suicide actually did so two years prior to all this occurring. Which leads me to believe that this company is managed by a monster. Who uses their own employee’s death in an attempt to garner sympathy?

        Also, even if this poor girl had committed suicide over this whole fiasco, why would you assume that the outlet who is merely reporting the story is somehow at fault? You’re attempting to use someone’s death in an attempt to push your emotion fueled agenda. I say shame on you.

      5. This is actually BS too. It’s been posted that the employee that actually took her life was NOT because of this incident. So how dare THEY blame him for her actions. Even if she did take her life because of comments (which incidentally sounds stupid and insane) it would be HER actions and choice, not because of him. Be very clear on who created this mess… This company refused refund after tragic accident which I guess they can do, however, although it’s still wrong to do that. Then they posted that evil, foul, mocking post that is vile inhumane. Now they want to retract and get sympathy for being stupid saying their employee took her life because of it. Well the stupid is just growing now. I hope the guy gets his refund and I hope they lose their business because of it. They have nowhere to hide now.

      6. You’re full of crap. Allison Davis died two years ago. I have a screenshot of the announcement Copper Stallion made about it from 2 years ago. I posted it on Copper Stallion Media’s Facebook page, in the comments section under their profile pic if anyone wants to go take a look.

      7. You AND the company are garbage. Their employee died 2 years ago and they are using that after mocking the death of this mans soon to be wife. People like you and them don’t deserve to breath the same air as decent people. What kind of people do that? Trash that’s who. Pure selfish trash. I hope the family of their employee who took her life 2 years ago sue the hell out of this trashy nasty ugly company.

    2. I agree that it’s probably not the outcome that anyone expected. But I have to wonder if that’s the whole story. There may have been other factors that lead to the employee taking her own life that have not been divulged. In mast cases, there is not just one factor.

    3. “They posted on fb (before deleting) stating that an employee committed suicide and then insinuated it was because of online bullying related to the refund issue. Well turns out, the employee committed suicide 2 years ago.

      Apparently the owner is a conman who was forced to pay 500k for conning couples out of money for videography services that were never provided.”

      There’s a pretty big blow up on Reddit about this.

    4. Check screenshots from their Knot page. They posted about their employee’s suicide in 2018!!!!!! They are using a employees suicide from 2 years ago to get sympathy in the press. Allison Davis killed herself long before this happened

    5. There’s no evidence that this person took their own life, though. The only evidence was that someone with the same name 2 years ago took their own life.

    6. She passed away two years ago. I got screenshot of the announcement before they took it off their page. I’d post it here if I could.

    1. You’d be surprised how often a settlement suddenly is arranged once a media outlet intervenes in business deals gone south. It all comes down to optics; how bad does the business want its viewpoint to appear to the general public. Even if/when they have the contractual high ground, lots of businesses bow to public opinion and settle, maybe not for the entire amount in question, but for a reasonable compromise between the two parties.

    2. Shine the light on them being completely unfeeling and lacking basic human empathy? Businesses in a service industry usually don’t fare well with this kind of publicity.

  3. They’re getting slammed for being dirtbags in online reviews. Here is their response:
    Although we understand a bride-to-be has died, the client and her fiancé signed a non-refundable contract. Furthermore, due to COVID-19, it has put a financial strain on all wedding businesses, even ours. We could not afford to refund money if we could. Working capital is crucial during these times. We have a staff of 30 and our business supports their families. We have been filming weddings for years and we literally put 8 to 10 hours days in and then another several hours of editing. We put our heart and soul into each film. After being harassed, ridiculed, and pressured into acquiescing to this couple’s demand, we no longer have a passion for this. All of the hard work that we put into these films to be harassed online just isn’t worth it to us. Therefore, we will finish out the rest of our contractual obligations with our clients and then we will be sunsetting Copper Stallion Media.

    1. It is really bad epidemic of people who will be warriors for a causes that they should not be involved in via the internet and google reviews. People don’t realize that this should not be something that people go trash people on the web because they want to feel righteous. People need to stop and think what if this happened to you? A bunch of strangers with limited information hiding behind a screen and socially assassinating them or their business.
      I would blame KRDO for all of this. For the sake of a tragic story to illicit viewers/readers they cause more harm to the situation. Pathetic.

      1. “This Blood Is On KRDO’s hands! Shame on KRDO! I hope they get sued!”
        20 minutes later:
        “People don’t realize that this should not be something that people go trash people on the web because they want to feel righteous.”

        The irony.

        1. (S)he is a Doctor of Irony! You’re correct! Read the Doctor’s posts and you’ll be even more convinced! She/he is the Doctor of trashing folks…

        2. The time stamps speak for themselves. It could of been better reported. It was reported as shame on this company, not lets see if we can help both parties resolve it after we have reviewed ALL of the facts. The contract and the request for a refund. No they just pull the trigger and report it fast so they can have a catchy sob story.
          Yes, it is very sad she died. Is that the fault of the company. No. Could the company be out more money because they refunded and now can’t find someone else to take that date/slot. Yep. This is what happens when you run a highly sought after service.
          Should they refund all people who had circumstances not to get married? People would book and then cancel all the time and they are left out to dry. When you sign a contract it is just that a contract and you should know what the terms are. It is not like they are coming after him for the full amount. They just can’t refund the deposit. It is what it is. Try running a service business. They have the contract terms for a reason, not just to be greedy and make money.
          The main point is if KRDO would of waited to report both sides of the story the company could of been more obliged to make a concession. Versus starting the online hate campaign that wads the straw the broke the camels back in online bullying to an individual who took her own life. Remember the kids and a mom who did the same to a little girl and she took her life and the court ruled they had fault and were sent to jail? Being careless with their media power is the same as being reckless with a gun. People can be hurt if not handled properly.
          I have a real problem with suicide. Being there to pick up a body and watching the families pain and suffering is no joke. Then going through that several dozen times and seeing/hearing the reasons that were said for them taking their own life is horrific. Suicide affects not just the one individual but many many other people around the situation. Even the medics who have to come in the middle of the mess. It is something that no one should have to go through, but it was my job.

          1. They can refund the deposit any time they choose. Basic human decency would dictate that they do. The event was in May and they were contacted in Feb; plenty of time to find other work for their contract laborers (they claim to be booked through 2022….).
            KRDO reached out to the company (as have other news agencies) and the company has refused to respond.

            You’re just on the wrong side of this one.

      2. KRDO reported what people told them, and allowed others to make online comments. What’s the crime there? You should know by now that there’s generally more to stories that appears online than reporters know about. Sounds like you’re just participating in the blame game…

      3. “the blood is on KRDO’s hands”….. Seems like a wanna be warrior… Perhaps you shouldn’t be involved in the internet today.

        While there was a contract and I’m sure there was a no cancellation clause, the business should have accepted this cancellation simply as being good human beings.
        If $1,800 is needed that badly by them to keep 30 employees going, they need to refund the money and file bankruptcy today.

      4. Why would you blame KDRO for a truthful story about what this company did? Your only defense of the company so far has been “they had the legal right”, but that applies equally to KDRO writing the story.

      5. The company has themselves to blame for this situation. Justin is in no way wrong with utilizing his first amendment right to go to the press or the media. He stated the facts of the situation. If that had been the case, people would not have bullied or harassed anyone. This whole situation came about because this company threatened to sue someone for utilizing their right. That’s an impossibility and, also, if they truly are hurting financially, why threaten legal action? That’s much more than 1800 dollars.

  4. Now, this company has taken his name as a domain name and calling him a stupid shit and they will NEVER refund his money, others as inbred etc. Taking the high road is not their forte. http://justinmontney.com/. All of these actions on their side is what will screw them. Whomever the owner is, they are an idiot. Can’t cry defamation when you respond like that. Not even responding to the alleged suicide of Allison.

  5. I can’t post a photo but the company put the following on its (now defunct) FB page. It is a message with a photo of the couple “Today is the day where we would have filmed Justin and Alexis’ wedding in Colorado Springs. After what Justin pulled with the media stunt to try and shake us down for a refund, we hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day. Sorry, not sorry”. I’ll email a copy of the screenshot to anyone who wants it. Stop defending this trash company. Who antagonizes the surviving fiancée on his would be wedding day?!?

  6. So, if the photographer’s partner was killed in a car accident would you still expect them to photograph the wedding? Of course you wouldn’t. There are not many companies who wouldn’t refund if the event doesn’t progress because of the death of a contract signatory. Even airlines, tight arsed as they are with their strict no refund policies will agree to a compassionate refund due to death or illness of a family member even if you contact them after you should have flown.

  7. A little history on the individual running the business:
    “The owner is apparently some guy named Jesse J. Clark. He apparently was sentenced in MA for scamming couples out of money for wedding videos they never received. After, he moved and opened the wedding photo business in OP’s post, and continued to scam both couples and contractors.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.telegram.com/article/20130426/NEWS/104269782%3ftemplate=ampart

    Edit: FYI it looks like he more recently goes by Jesse J. F. Clark.

    u/ka1913 linked this below from when he was trying to be a lawyer for a while: http://legalnews.com/detroit/1001236

    “Clark turned his own online modeling portfolio into a fake nude modeling ad using the name and photo of the Lawyers Weekly reporter who called him, a page he offered to remove if the paper deleted all mention of him.” Apparently he really likes setting up websites in the name of people he’s fighting with…”

  8. I’m sorry that its true that you probably won’t be getting your money back since a contract IS a contract, but thank god we have anti SLAPP laws/TCPA so this guy probably can’t go after you for voicing your opinion about his business that you have had direct experience in dealing with.

    Take a look at this company’s response to the grieving fiancee

    https://twitter.com/Tyler_Macin17/status/1264627454309576710/photo/2

    If you can’t click on the link, its a picture of the couple holding their diplomas with a message that appears to be from Copper Stallion Media’s account stating:
    “Today would have been the day where we would have filmed justin and Alexis’ wedding in Colorado Springs. After wheat Justin pulled with the media stunt to try and shake us down for a refund, we hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day. Sorry, not sorry.”

    Also apparently the guy BOUGHT Justin’s full name as a web domain from GoDaddy with a message that reads “This website is registered with us for the next two years. Thanks to your non-refundable deposit, you support this website and domain. Welcome to the interwebs you stupid **[expletive]…”

    https://twitter.com/ssmith747/status/1264920386409553922/photo/1

    I do believe that this person is the same person that owned SureSHot Portraits LLC. The telegram.com seems to have a nice article up on this guy (if it is the same person) being accused of scamming 90 couples out of videos he never delivered.

    https://twitter.com/chikfilatio/status/1264945371920424960/photo/1

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