Racial slur on wedding photo prompts lawsuit

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - A Houston couple is suing a local photographer over what they claim was a racial slur posted at the bottom of wedding reception photos.

According to the lawsuit, the photos came from a photo booth rented from Premiere Photography.

"When this case came in the door I couldn't believe it," said attorney Cathy Hale.

Hale represents the couple suing Premiere Photography. She asked us not to use her clients' names because of the racial nature of the claims.

Hale said 100 family and friends were enjoying a wedding reception on August 2012 and many used the rented photo booth to commemorate the event. The lawsuit claims at one point during the reception the booth produced some photos with the wedding date and the words, "Poor (n-word) Party" printed on the bottom. Hale said the bride's sister received one of those photos.

"She made the wise decision not to tell her and spoil that specific day," said Hale.

Hale said several months passed before family members finally told the couple what happened.

"Now, every time they think about their anniversary, on their anniversary date, they're going to be reminded of what happened," said Hale.

Hale said after learning of the photos, the husband called the owner of Premier Photography, James Evans.

"(He) said, 'what happened, how could this happen, please tell me how this occurred,' and the only response that he got after that conversation was, 'sue me,'" said Hale.

Channel 2 also tried to speak with Evans but he declined to comment.

Hale said her clients did not want to go through the process of a lawsuit, but when they received no answers they felt they had no choice.

"This has never been about the money. My clients did not call a lawyer as soon as they found out about this, they called Mr. Evans, and Mr. Evans did nothing," said Hale. "It's about righting a wrong, it's as simple as that."

The couple is suing the company under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act; claiming negligence and breach of contract.

In legal filings, Evans' attorneys write he denies any wrongdoing and raise the possibility someone else tampered with the booth.

Legal documents also argue so much time passed between the reception and the couple's call to Evans, he no longer had documentation showing which employee was working the night of the reception. Court documents read that Evans did offer the couple a refund, but they declined.

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