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Wedding photographer sues venue over fall

Brisbane-based wedding photographer, Bernadette Draffin, is suing a venue and styling company for more than $570,000 after she slipped on a piece of fabric and shattered her knee.

Bernadette Draffin. Source: Facebook.

The incident happened at a wedding in 2017 at Cherbon Waters Equestrian Centre in Burbank, with stylists Captivating Moments also listed as defendants.

The photographer was capturing guests when she slipped on an organza fabric sash, which she claims had not been securely tied around a chair. The 37-year-old fell, shattering her knee in four places which required surgery and long-term physiotherapy.

She told Daily Mail Australia the event has severely limited her ability to work. She has had to immediately cancel bookings, which resulted in bad reviews from upset clients; reduce the amount of weddings from eight per month to just one per week; and hire a staff member to help out.

In her $577K claim, she is seeking $100K compensation for lost income and 257K for loss of future income.

Draffin charged up to $10,000 per wedding, and hiring the employee costs roughly $1500 for each job. Draffin also shoots wedding videos, and has won awards for both photography and videography at the Annual Bridal Industry Awards, as well as a silver at the AIPP Australian Video Producer Awards.

But she said the accident ‘had a big impact on my life and I’m still having a hard time’, particularly the toll it has taken on her relationship with family.

‘My whole mood changed. My husband had to help me with everything and my relationship with my daughters deteriorated,’ she said.

Draffin’s lawyer, James Hickman from Shine Lawyers Queensland, points out that the photographer is the ‘only breadwinner’ at home.

‘If there is nothing else, I hope this accident will be a warning story for all companies involved in wedding planning to be extra vigilant about the safety of their guests,’ he said.

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