What can I do about a last minute increase in cost f a venue states in its contract that I must exclusively deal with their alcohol vendor?

I want alcohol served at my wedding reception. This was 6 months ago and I’ve booked my wedding at the Arboretum and have been talking with their alcohol vendor. Now we fast forward to now and I’m told that because of some new law their alcohol vendor will no longer be used effective immediately and their new vendor will have to charge me for additional permit fees and services. It’s too late to change my wedding venue and my wedding is next week! I may not even be able to get a permit in time because it usually takes 10 days! Do I have any rights?

Asked on April 13, 2015 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you agreed to only use their vendor in a signed contract, then you would not have any rights unless you can show that they committed fraud: deliberately misrepresented (lied about) the likely costs or the identity of the vendor in order to get you to sign. However, if the changes came unexpectedly and/or due to factors beyond their control, you would not have any rights. (In addition, *if* they are telling truth about the new law, they would not be liable or responsible for its effects.) If they had misrepresented (committed fraud), you'd have the right to rescind or cancel the contract entirely--which most likely would not help you, given the timing--or could later seek damages or compensation in a lawsuit, if necessary.

If you end up not being able to serve alcohol at your wedding, you could not be charged for it (or related fees), but that's small comfort.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.