Attorney Dominique A. Buttitta, 32, is not someone to leave at the altar. Buttitta is suing Vito V. Salerno, 31, after he back out of a wedding that cost her nearly $100,000 and considerable embarrassment.
The two had dated since March 2004 and he popped the question on Dec. 7, 2007. Buttitta says that the proposal was an enforceable promise and that he also committed intentional infliction of emotional distress in backing out just four days before the wedding.
She demanded repayment of his share of the wedding, including more than $30,000 to rent out the banquet center, nearly $12,000 on flowers, $10,000 for an orchestra and nearly $5,400 on a “non-returnable Wedding dress, veil and hair accessory.”
In her complaint, she details show Salerno allegedly spent time in the “Pink Monkey” strip joint and engaged in “flirtatious and amorous acts in public.”
She later sent the following [post]love note: “It was agreed by you and me that the marriage ceremony was to be performed on October 2, 2010. I was on that date, ready and willing to marry you. Further, please be advised that I am not still willing to marry you.”
Courts routinely deal with legal claims following such breakups — usually demands for the return of expensive engagement rings. This includes Illinois courts. For example, in 1994, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled in Vann v. Vehrs that boyfriend was “entitled to the return of the ring where the engagement was mutually broken because the ring was a gift conditional on the subsequent marriage of the parties, and when the condition was not fulfilled, the girlfriend no longer had any right to the ring.”
Notably, in Lowe v. Quinn, a New York court dealt with an interesting promissory case where Lowe v. Quinn, where the man gave an engagement ring to the engaged woman upon her promise to marry him. He, however, was married to another woman but was contemplating a divorce. He did not get a divorce and she eventually broke their engagement their engagement. The court ruled:
The essential element which distinguishes the action for recovery [*271] of a ring given in contemplation of marriage from other actions for the return of other gifts the delivery of which has been completed is the breach by the donee of the contract to marry. HN2Go to the description of this Headnote.Where one of the parties is already married the contract to marry is completely void (cf. Haviland v. Halstead, 34 N. Y. 643; Williams v. Igel, 62 Misc. 354; Davis v. Pryor, 112 F. 274). The fact that the married promisor contemplated divorce and the promises were conditional upon that eventuality does not validate the agreement ( Smith v. McPherson, 176 Cal. 144; Leupert v. Shields, 14 Colo. App. 404; Noice v. Brown, 38 N. J. L. 228; 49 Harv. L. Rev. 648).
It would logically follow that, there being no valid agreement which could be breached, the gift remains absolute.
This case is more extensive in the claims to cover a wedding dress and other expenses. What if his defense is that he never wanted or asked for such expenses. He merely agreed to marry and that promise is not enforceable.
I would love to see the mediation in this case since fulfillment of the original agreement appears off the table.
Source: Chicago Breaking News
19 thoughts on “With This I Do Sue: Attorney Sues Man Who Jilted Her Days Before Wedding”
Sing it sista! Somebody get that woman a singing contract.
“It was agreed by you and me that the marriage ceremony was to be performed on October 2, 2010. I was on that date, ready and willing to marry you. Further, please be advised that I am not still willing to marry you.”
God what awful writing. Does Oct 2, 2010 refer to the date upon which they agreed to get married or the date of the nuptials?
here in daytona we don’t have a pink monkey but we do have a pink pony.
wonder how much of this is her wanting a new last name. buttitta, she either got picked on in school or she’s one hell of a fighter.
Great song! It took me back to the old college days!!
Weddings like that are just so vain:
This sounds like a good case for a promissory estoppel claim. Of course the promise to marry cannot be specifically enforced, but she should be entitled to recover expenditures made in reliance on the promise.
I only make 30K a year so 100K for a wedding is just…insane!!!!! Did he sign the contract for the hall? He didn’t purchase the dress and it can be worn at her next wedding. I’m thinking if he signed contracts for the hall, food, etc then he should pay half but the dress, that’s her deal!
The solution is simple! I think specific performance is in order here: Make him marry her and enjoy the wedding. Simple divorces run about $2,500.00 plus expenses.
““…it didn’t surprise me except for the amount of the wedding. $100,000!?? That is a mortgage, not a wedding bill.”
That kills the myth of costing so little to get in and so much to get out.
These strip club visits are also really expensive. And yes the name the pink monkey is sort of funny
Probably not this one
http://www.pinkmonkey.com/ 465 Online Study Guides
” $30 cover, $30 lap dance times xxx. I think I dropped about $300 here with some friends at a bachelor party.”
there’s one in austin texas too
So was this wedding in Chicago or Austin?
“…it didn’t surprise me except for the amount of the wedding. $100,000!?? That is a mortgage, not a wedding bill.”
…and “…$30,000 to rent out the banquet center, nearly $12,000 on flowers, $10,000 for an orchestra…”
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. As you said, “a mortgage” for many…
The Pink Monkey does conjure up some pretty funny thoughts. I saw this news article the other day in the local papers and it didn’t surprise me except for the amount of the wedding. $100,000!?? That is a mortgage, not a wedding bill.
That was great. (Thanks for the laughs.)
This takes place after the wedding,give it the 7:02 you will not be dissapointed,I promise.
“It is sad not funny what happened and as you see a strip joint and possibly prostitution played a role. Since the bride is an attorney she might have heard stories about escort services etc. and what goes on there.”
Yes, it’s sad…, but sometimes one laughs… In this, case it was simply the name of the place, “The Pink Monkey”…
No offense intended, Kay.
I’m the last person to take pleasure in anyone’s unhappiness or misery… But I do think that it’s important to be able to laugh, and sometimes it’s the smallest things that tip one towards laughter…
“I wasn’t wearing my filter”, as a friend of mine used to say… It was one of those “stream of consciousness” postings on my part.
If she sued for an interstate tort (if they lived across state lines) since it is more than 75K there is supposed to be mandatory mediation unless one or more party is pro se in which case the statute requires it but USCourts have contrary policies. The ex groom probably was involved in picking out the location, cake, guest list etc.
It is sad not funny what happened and as you see a strip joint and possibly prostitution played a role. Since the bride is an attorney she might have heard stories about escort services etc. and what goes on there.
“In her complaint, she details show Salerno allegedly spent time in the “Pink Monkey” strip joint…”
Laughing… couldn’t get beyond the previous statement…
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