No amount of planning could have prepared a couple for a wedding crasher - or should we say wedding flasher? - like this.
The wedding at a downtown Charleston hotel last year was disrupted by a naked man flashing the ceremony from his window.
Now, a Charleston court is being asked to decide how much money, if any, is due to the bride and her parents, who are suing the hotel for severe emotional distress and injury during the "ruined" wedding.
Anna Rogers Murphy and her parents filed suit June 26 against City Market Hotel Associates LLC, which owns and operates the Double- Tree Hotel and Suites on Church Street in downtown Charleston.
The March 9, 2013, wedding took place in the hotel's courtyard, which is overlooked by guest rooms.
During the ceremony, the plaintiffs and their wedding guests saw a nude man standing at one of the windows, according to the claim.
He pressed his genitals against the window, and then turned around and pressed his buttocks against the window.
A police officer knocked on the door of the room and a man answered with a towel wrapped around this waist.
After the man got dressed and went outside, witnesses identified him as the one who was at the window. The 20-year-old Pennsylvania man was charged with indecent exposure after the incident. He is not named as a defendant in this suit.
City Market Hotel Associates had assured Murphy and her parents before they signed a contract that the wedding would not be disrupted by hotel guests, according to the complaint.
The family then paid $15,000 for the venue.
The defendant "failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent disruption of the ceremony or to provide adequate security," said the claim.
"What occurred was obviously a disruption," said Charleston attorney David Aylor, who is not connected to the lawsuit. But, he said, the plaintiffs' chance of winning the suit likely depends on what scenarios and security were specifically covered in the agreement between the family and the hotel.
"It would depend on the specific details in the contract: whether it covered noise issues, or obscene behavior, or what," Aylor said.
"The key is to determine whether or not this was something that was promised within the agreement for the rental of the space."
Murphy and her parents could not be reached for comment.
John Massalon, the Charleston attorney representing Murphy and her parents, declined to comment.
A manager at the DoubleTree Hotel and Suites did not know who the hotel's attorneys were.
A similar situation occurred in Charleston in 2010 when a passing boater flashed a wedding ceremony taking place near Shem Creek. That man was also charged with indecent exposure.
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