Okanagan winery on the hook to reimburse guest for confetti cannon clean-up

A dispute over who should foot the bill for cleaning up a messy wedding ended with an Okanagan winery holding the confetti-filled bag.

B.C. resident Daniel Webbe took a disagreement he had with 50th Parallel Estate Winery to the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal, claiming that the winery should have returned the damage deposit for his June 30, 2022 wedding, despite the fact he violated the contract when two guests set off the canons.

According to the tribunal, two confetti cannons were fired during dinner service. Confetti canons are not permitted at the winery and when they were fired by guests, that put Webbe in violation of his contract. In turn, 50th Parallel withheld $3,150 of Webbe’s $3,500 damage deposit to cover damage incurred.

Webbe took umbrage and filed a legal claim, alleging that 50th Parallel didn’t sustain $3,150 in damage.

He acknowledges the winery may have incurred some extra cleaning costs due to the confetti, which he pegged at $700.

In turn, he wanted $2,450 of the $3,150 50th Parallel withheld from his damage deposit returned.

To support his argument that the damage and cleanup was minimal, Webbe said that as soon as he saw the confetti, he spoke with a manager who told him extra cleaning might be required. When he returned to the hall the following day and offered to help, the manager led him to believe there were “no issues”.

Webbe provided statements from two wedding guests stating the confetti was not a significant problem.

For its part, 50th Parallel claimed the confetti cannons spread debris all over the hall, and that professional cleaners had to be hired to get rid of it.

The winery claimed many of its service items were permanently damaged and had to be discarded, and that the confetti clogged its dishwashers, which required additional cleaning and servicing.

It also said the confetti rendered the hall unusable ‘for days or weeks’, resulting in lost business revenue ‘and additional expense to reorganize events in other parts of the winery.

“The difficulty for 50th Parallel is that it has not provided evidence of the level of damage caused, such as photographs, video, or witness statements,” Megan Stewart, Tribunal Member, said in the decision. “Also, the three invoices it did provide do not support the cost of remedying mess or damage from the confetti.”

Two of the invoices totaling $908.68 were for “machine power scrub”, “carpet shampooing and hard stain removal” and “power buffing and apply finisher”.

They did not say the services were in respect of confetti clean-up, and Stewart said that the descriptions provided didn’t connect to the confetti issues.

Also, the invoices were dated July 18, 2022, which was well after the June 30, 2022 wedding.

A third invoice, dated Aug. 1, 2022 and totaling $2,730, was for “janitorial services for 50th Parallel Winery in Lake Country .

“Again, the invoice was dated weeks after the wedding and gave no detail of the janitorial services provided, including whether they were related to cleaning up the confetti,” Stewart said. “So, I find it is not proof of the cost to remediate any damage caused by the confetti.”

Ultimately, Stewart sided with Webbe and the winery was ordered to return his damage deposit.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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