Shocked couple hit with £20,000 bill for claims they flooded the hotel where they tied the knot
Cherished memories of a Gartcosh couple’s wedding day have been “tainted” after they were hit with a £20,000 writ over claims they flooded the plush hotel where they tied the knot.
Robert Adamson and Karyn Nokolic tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in front of friends and family at Balbirnie House in Fife.
But their dream day reminiscences have turned sour after the owners of the popular venue – named Wedding Hotel of the Year 2017 at the Scottish Hotel Awards in April – blamed them for causing thousands of pounds of water damage and consequently losing them business.
Now the two parties are locked in a legal row which is set to be heard in court, with new mum Karyn, 31, hitting back at the hotel’s accusations by saying: “We completely deny that the damage is any fault of ours.”
Robert and Karyn were wed in the £260-a-night Markinch venue in March 2015.
Theirs was the first wedding at the hotel since the completion of an extensive refurbishment project in the bridal suite.
Early in the morning after the couple’s big day, hotel staff woke the pair insisting that a leak in the downstairs function room was coming from their room.
Management claimed the couple left a shower head running on the floor but Karyn and Robert are adamant that the leak sprung from a fault in the refurbished bathroom.
The pair now face having to defend a £20,000 action at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, with Balbirnie House owners Nicholas and Gaynor Russell wanting the cash to cover the repairs and loss of business.
Accountant Karyn, who gave birth to son Leon six weeks ago, explained: “The bridal suite had just undergone a renovation and we were the first to use it.
“We think issues with the plumbing or refurbishment caused the damage. When the hotel staff member came to our door at 6.30am after our wedding, we were fast asleep.
“They looked in the bathroom and the tap was running but the water was not flooding or building up – it was just running down the plughole.”
Taxi driver Robert, 34, added: “I took a bath in the room but the water seemed to run away fine. The only thing we can think is that there was something faulty with the pipes.
“The new bathroom leaked the first time it was used and the hotel are saying it’s our fault.
“They also knocked on Karyn’s mum and dad’s room before they came to us because, apparently, there had been previous issues with the plumbing there.”
The couple claim nothing further was mentioned about the damage to the West Room – which is used for receptions during weddings – before they checked out.
It wasn’t until they were on honeymoon in Mauritius that they heard they were being held responsible.
They received an invoice for £4000 to replace carpets, which they refused to pay.
Now law firm Brodies LLP have demanded £20,000 from the couple, who have recruited solicitors at Glasgow-base firm Radar to defend them, and the case will call at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court if it is not resolved.
Karyn said: “They claim the £20,000 is for loss of earnings but I can’t see how that can be the case.
“Their Facebook page appeared to show a wedding went ahead the day the leak was discovered.
“When the sheriff officer came to the door and presented the papers to us, we freaked out. It was so out of the blue.
“We’re so worried about it. I’m juggling being a new mum with this added stress.
“We don’t know where we would get £20,000 if we have to pay up. Our legal advice is to fight it all the way, which is what we’re doing.
“This has been a total nightmare. We had a brilliant wedding day and paid a considerable amount to make sure it was perfect.
“But the way this has been dealt with has tainted it. We would never go back there.”
Balbirnie owner Nicholas Russell said: “Very considerable damage was caused to a part of the Grade A listed building.
“This has been referred to our insurers and they are pursuing the matter through the court.”
Court documents say the hotel had to re-grout the bathroom and replace a carpet in the suite.
They claim that during this time they were unable to use the bedroom and that restoration works were required to repair the ceiling of the West Room.
The total cost of the repairs was £4770, insurance policy excess was £1000 and loss of business was estimated to be £15,000.
Damp dilemma A video grab of water leaking from the bridal ceiling
Claims refuted Karyn and Robert have vowed to fight the allegations
Bathroom blues The damage is alleged to have occurred here