Couple sued for canceling restaurant reservation

Couple sued for canceling restaurant reservation

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by BILL McGINTY / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 1:16 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 16 at 5:18 PM

STATESVILLE, N.C. -- It was supposed to be a fairy tale small town wedding for Travis and Angie Lorch.

"I love Statesville," Angie Lorch exclaimed.  "The people there are one in a million."

Last summer Travis and Angie Lorch scouted her quaint little hometown of Statesville for their wedding in December 2011.  They settled on the Black Angus Grill for the big party on December 31, which is New Year’s Eve.  They put down a $500 deposit on July 30, 2011. 

“We wanted to do it right,” Angie Lorch said.  “We wanted to have a nice wedding and have lots of family members and friends, as many as we could.”

But the Lorch’s decided to cancel their reservation because they changed their mind.

The engagement was still on, but the location was off.  It had only been 13 days since they put down their deposit, so they formally asked for their $500 back in an email.  But they were told no.

Angie Lorch says they never signed a contract for the reservation.

“Nothing, the only thing we signed was a credit card receipt,” she said.

So the Lorch’s went to their credit card company, which investigated and sided with them, saying the signed credit card receipt isn’t proof of a no refund policy.

The Lorch’s opted for a backyard ceremony and reception to begin their married life in November. 

But then came more bad news in early December.

“I was stunned,” Angie Lorch said.

She was stunned because Black Angus Grill was suing them for that $500 deposit, and for the business it says it lost on New Year’s Eve because the Lorch’s canceled in August.

Total amount of damages Black Angus Grill is claiming in this lawsuit: $2,581.62.

Ed Pressley is the lawyer fighting on behalf of Black Angus Grill.

“Had she been able to rent it out after that time, there wouldn’t have been a problem, but she (the owner) was not able to rent it,” Pressley said.

But that argument seems flawed.  For the first seven months of 2011, the banquet room at Black Angus was available for anyone to book.  The Lorches had it booked for 13 days between July 30 and August 12, and then it was available again for anyone to book after that and for the rest of the year.

"She (the owner) reserved the space and passed up other people she could have rented it to," Pressley said.

"But to tell me that we're the reason she doesn't have business? That's going a little too far," Angie Lorch said.

The Lorches are in a lurch, being sued in Iredell County District Court for canceling a reservation, a reservation they say they only had for 13 days.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous," Angie Lorch said.

Black Angus is arguing that an oral contract is just as binding as a written one, but the Lorches say Black Angus never even mentioned a "no refund" policy.

NewsChannel 36 will continue to follow this story as it goes to court.

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