Justin Montney, a grieving husband-to-be, is mourning the loss of his 22-year-old fiancée, Alexis-Athena Wyatt, who passed away tragically when a semi-truck struck her car in early February. To make matters worse, Montney is now engulfed in a heated battle with the owner of a videography company that he entrusted to document the big day.
Montney says that he requested a $1,800 refund for the wedding that he was forced to cancel. Copper Stallion Media, who was hired to capture their special day, responded, saying that their contract was “non-refundable.”
“I regret to inform you my fiance, Alexis passed away in a car accident on the 3rd of February,” Montney explained in an email to a representative with Copper Stallion Media, according to PEOPLE. “I am hoping to cancel any arrangement we made with a refund.”
The company responded by saying they would remove the wedding from their calendar but refused to issue a refund under the terms of their contract. Montney says that he sent the company a news story about Alexis’ accident along with her death certificate, hoping that this would move the company to have some compassion and refund the $1,800 deposit to him or Alexis’ family.
However, follow-up emails sent to the company by Montney went unanswered. Montney was left with no choice but to inform Copper Stallion Media that a friend of his was going to document the incident on Facebook. The post went viral on social media, with users leaving negative reviews on the wedding planning website, The Knot. Copper Stallion has now threatened to sue Alexis’ mother and everyone else who posted a negative review.
“They threatened to sue her, and they’ve been threatening to sue everyone that posted any negative review of them on The Knot,” Montney explained, who first escalated his story to local news station KRDO, which aired the story on Thursday.
In the weeks after Alexis’ passing, Montney says he reached out to multiple vendors to inform them of the sad news that the wedding would not be taking place due to his fiance’s death. He explained that most of them returned his money and sent condolences. However, Copper Stallion Media was the only one who would not issue a refund to him.
The videography company responded to PEOPLE’s inquiry by sending a link to one of two websites that they set up under Montney’s name, JustinMontney.com, and JustinMontneyWedding.com. The company explained in a statement to PEOPLE that since they had already scheduled two videographers for the event, they could not issue a refund.
“If something should ever happen and the wedding is canceled, like in this scenario, we keep that money as liquidated damages as there is a likelihood that we will never re-book that date with someone else,” the statement reads.
Adding insult to injury once the story began to circulate, Copper Stallion Media shared a disturbing post to Facebook with an extremely insensitive message mocking Montney on the date that his wedding was originally scheduled.
“Today would have been the day where we would have filmed Justin and Alexis’ wedding in Colorado Springs. After what Justin pulled with the media stunt to try and shake us down for a refund, we hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day,” the company wrote. “Sorry, not sorry,” they added in the now-deleted post. Their social media pages were also recently deleted.
Copper Stallion Media website also issued a very stern message to Montney and all of those taking his side.
“The contract was non-refundable. We will NEVER refund Justin Montney even with the online threats and harassment,” the company’s website reads. “If we knew he was going to shake us down, we would have charged a higher deposit. We understand a death occurred, but it’s not right for people to turn to the internet and sodomize the reputation of a company,” Copper Stallion Media continued. “This is malice, and the intent was to do harm. We know Justin is still young and in his 20s but this was wrong. He could have quietly filed a small claim to ‘try’ to recoup the non-refundable deposit. Instead, he chose the internet to shake us down.”
Montney says that he no longer expects to get his money back.