A couple’s wedding day should be full of memories. One couple has plenty of memories, but they aren’t good ones. Instead of seeing their smiling guests clapping and dancing, they watched as they all suffered from horrible vomiting and diarrhea.
They had the perfect wedding, but when guests started eating food at the reception, they quickly became very ill.
They blame the caterer for the incident and are even suing him. The wedding took place three years ago, but the couple is still struggling to put it behind them.
The groom, Jesse Abbott, said:
“It’s so difficult to see not only your friends and closest family, but when you see young children, too, going through this experience. It was terrible.”
His bride was also bothered by everything that happened.
She wanted everyone to remember the amazing food, decorations, and music, not being sick and feeling awful. She added:
“I didn’t imagine my wedding reception to have this happen. I didn’t imagine my friends and family to become ill. It was a beautiful day that just turned into this event that you would see in a horror movie. People were walking around not themselves. They couldn’t talk. They were incoherent. Some people were saying things like ‘I just wanna die.’”
The couple filed a lawsuit against Doug Tarpinian, owner of Holy Smoke BBQ and Catering of Earlville, New York.
In the lawsuit, they claim that he served food that was not meant for human consumption. Tarpinian explained that the lawsuit has been a nightmare and that he has been cooperating with the investigation. He intends to clear his name and show that the blame should be placed elsewhere. He said:
“We were under investigation for six months. They confiscated my food the next day that we had left over from that wedding, and nothing came back contaminated.”
He also explained that his food was not the only food served at the wedding.
The salmonella could have been brought in by any person who touched the serving wear or any of the food that was sitting out.
“They had a table full of appetizers, cheeses, salamis, all kinds of stuff, and we don’t know who provided the food, who was handling that food when we got there. One of her guests could have touched the tongs, and everybody (in line) behind there could have it. And they provided their own bartenders — we don’t know who they are. … There are so many loose holes here.”
Tarpinian explained that he did not bill the couple for his services, despite not feeling that he was at fault for the illness.
When they decided to sue him, he spoke with an attorney, who recommended that he countersue them for the amount owed for the catering. Both lawsuits are currently being worked out in court.
Tarpinian’s lawyer explained:
“It is very unfortunate what happened at their wedding three years ago. We have fully cooperated with the health department and we were not found guilty of any wrongdoings.”
While the couple clearly has every right to be upset over the way things went during their wedding, they may be better off to move on and put the whole thing behind them.
Things like this happen, and while they are unfortunate, sometimes, it is difficult to know who really is at fault. They may spend a lot of time in court trying to prove the caterer is to blame for the awful incident and not get the outcome they want.
Hopefully, they can figure out what to do and both the couple and the caterer can move on with their lives. Maybe in a few years, they can renew their vows in a simple ceremony. This time, they may want to be more careful about the food they choose to serve. Then again, they may have a hard time getting guests to come back.
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