Ruff justice... Dog groomers clash in £50,000 court row
a tUrF war between rival dog groomers has led to a £50,000 High Court battle and allegations of a ‘vicious’ online smear campaign.
Laura thurgood is suing former business partner Danielle Laight over the rights to use the name ‘Wash Wiggle and Wag’, as well as claims she has been libelled in texts and social media posts.
Ms thurgood, of Warton, Warwickshire, says she stopped working with Ms Laight in 2020 and claims the latter then smeared her on social media.
Ms Laight, 28, allegedly wrote that Ms thurgood’s grooming had ‘resulted in a number of dogs being injured’, leaving owners ‘incurring large bills from vets’.
now Ms thurgood is seeking an order banning Ms Laight from running her rival business in the same area under the ‘Wash Wiggle and Wag’ banner, plus libel damages of up to £50,000. Ms Laight insists the rights to the name are hers and argues that her claims are ‘substantially true’.
in documents lodged with London’s High Court, Ms thurgood’s barrister ian silcock says she set up her business in 2018 and acquired the ‘Wash Wiggle and Wag’ trademark. she ran her mobile grooming salon from the back of a van, operating in a 30-mile radius covering south Birmingham, solihull and redditch.
in June 2018, she teamed up with Ms Laight, using her as a contractor.
But in May 2020, the women’s working relationship fell apart and Ms Laight left a letter terminating the partnership in Ms thurgood’s van. Mr silcock alleged Ms Laight carried on her canine trade around redditch while implying that Ms thurgood was the one using the name ‘Wash Wiggle and Wag’ under false pretences.
she also sent texts to Ms thurgood’s customers, Mr silcock said, with 40 bookings being cancelled. the trial continues.