A Jackson County judge has levied more than $130,000 in judgments against a wedding venue and service provider for canceling events and not refunding money to customers.
Ryan Ronney Crowell and his company, West Bottoms Hospitality LLC, also were barred from working in the wedding venue or reception business in Missouri.
Last year, the Missouri attorney general’s office sued Crowell and the company after hearing from more than 50 customers who complained that he did not provide services at the historic Stowe Building in the West Bottoms for which they had contracted.
A Jackson County judge heard evidence at trial in January that Crowell contracted with 73 couples between September 2010 and April 2011 to rent the building for ceremonies, receptions and related services, such as photography and alcohol service.
Less than a week before the first event in April 2011, Crowell announced that he was canceling the events because he was not able to bring the 100-year-old warehouse up to code. In a 24-page order issued this month, Judge David Byrn found that Crowell never obtained the proper construction permits needed to renovate the building.
In addition to ordering that $43,464 be paid to the unlucky couples who had to scramble to make new wedding plans, Byrn ordered Crowell and his business to pay $87,467 in penalties and fees.