Last-minute break-ups yielding six-figure judgments

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If recent court battles are any indication, getting ditched at the altar is proving to be more lucrative than getting hitched.

A woman who was dumped by her groom-to-be just four days before the wedding brings new meaning to “hell hath no fury like a lover scorned”: she’s now suing her former fiance for nearly $100,000 in damages.

KFWB legal Analyst Royal Oakes tells KFWB’s Michael Shappee a wedding proposal can be understood as a legal contract.

The lawsuit brought by Dominique Buttitta also suggests that groom Vito Salerno may have engaged in lewd acts — including lap dances with strippers — one month before the wedding date during a bachelor party at an adult entertainment business called “The Pink Monkey”, an event of which Buttitta says she was unaware.

But as disastrous as the fallout over such legal action may seem, this isn’t the first time a jilted bride has sued: in 2008, a Georgia woman was awarded $150,000 from her former fiance for breaking off the engagement three days before the wedding.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (38)
  1. outraged says:

    What? Would the women rather have the man marry her and then divorce her the next day or get an annulment?

    This is just plain ridiculous.

    1. Shauny says:

      I can’t believe this and he definitely made the right decision not to marry her. I for on don’t know about getting married for these reasons and I choose to invest in myself with financial security such as this so I can at least be happy in life and not go through divorce or nonsense like this.

  2. Dump The Witch says:

    Sounds like the guy made the right decision.

    1. Cutem up says:

      Hahaha right on!!!! Freedom at any price.

    2. Chris L. says:

      Um hello! Money goes into planning a wedding and the bride is responsible for the wedding (in America at least). I think at a minimum the brides should be reimbursed for the cost put into the wedding. Not to mention all the work that goes into planning it and the humiliation. Hell yeah, pay them something, and learn your lesson to stop playing with people’s heart and stop being cowards. I bet 100K he knew he didn’t want to get married waaaay back.

      1. Anon says:

        Most weddings (in America) that I’ve attended were paid for by the bride AND the groom. And as for women planning it, etc…tough. We all plan things in life and they don’t always go as planned. I went to college, got a degree, and now work in a job that has nothing to do with my degree. Should I sue the school because I paid to go there? Incidentally, I am a woman, and I think these lawsuits are bull***.

      2. WifeyForLifey says:

        Thank you, someone that agrees with me lol! Weddings are so very expensive! My fiance and I are trying to plan our wedding right now, but it’s just so much money! And a lot of which we don’t have lol. Vegas it is ;D

  3. jdl says:

    Hey outraged…
    Do you have a clue how much weddings can cost? If a groom backs out 3 days before a wedding, you can’t get any of the money back. You basically lose all the money that you spent on the wedding planning.
    The groom should have to pay everything back himself!!! Serves him right. Why on earth do men ask women to marry them unless they are absolutely sure about their decision? Dumb…d…dumb….dumb on his part.

  4. jdl says:

    It sounds like the GIRL made the right decision!!

  5. dan says:

    I agree with her, she should sue, and I hope she wins. He led her on, if he had cold feet and didn’t want to get married he shouldn’t have asked her to marry him in the first place.

  6. Shauny says:

    I can’t believe this and he definitely made the right decision not to marry her. I for on don’t know about getting married for these reasons and I choose to invest in myself with financial security such as this so I can at least be happy in life and not go through divorce or nonsense like this.

  7. Good For Her says:

    I think it’s great that this is happening. I do think the woman is better off without the guy, but the men obviously have no idea the emotional investment that a woman and her family and friends put into planning a wedding and no amount of money can ever repay that investment. So if all a guy has to do is to open his wallet, then so be it. He probably didn’t do anything or pay for any of the non-refundable items as it was.

  8. Shauncie says:

    I can’t believe this and he definitely made the right decision not to marry her. I for on don’t know about getting married for these reasons and I choose to invest in myself with financial security such as this – /FBProfit so I can at least be happy in life and not go through divorce or nonsense like this.

  9. Natacha says:

    This is just plain wrong. What is the “contract” here–an unqualified promise to get married, no matter what, including a sincere change of heart? As the other writer said, would an immediate divorce be better? After watching “Bridezillas”, I wonder why any man would want to get married. There is nothing more personal or important to a person than the right to marry whom you choose, and if you make a mistake, you should be allowed to back out without consequences, up until taking the final vow. Forcing men to go ahead with a marriage they don’t want helps no one. It makes an even bigger farce out of the usual farce of the “virginal bride” parading down the aisle in her white dress.

  10. shawn says:

    What a joke. Now men can be sued for having a bachelor party. I can see if the woman had payed for the entire wedding and is to be compensated for the bill but to award her money for getting dumped is ludicrous. I was engaged once I wonder if I can sue her for dumping me whilst she was cheating with another man. Time to call my lawyer. Women get entirely too much from richer men to begin with it’s time for the men to get paid instead of these gold digging hussies!

  11. says:

    I can’t believe this and he definitely made the right decision not to marry her. I for on don’t know about getting married for these reasons and I choose to invest in myself with financial security such as this – click my name – so I can at least be happy in life and not go through divorce or nonsense like this.

  12. Kind Man says:

    I hope these judges rule the same way when a man brings similar suit against a bride. Women dump men everyday without thinking twice. No one raises alarm over that.

  13. jefe says:

    This is an outrage. Just another way for women to team up with courts and steal a mans money. As if it wasn’t easy enough already. I guess it’s a better idea to just kill them rather than dump them on the altar.

    1. jojo says:

      I’m sorry. If men wouldn’t put themselves in the position to get sued then these lawsuits wouldn’t occur. He’s the one who asked her to marry him, he’s the one who had doubts and let her spend copious amounts of money on a wedding anyway. Her parents shouldn’t be out the money for everything because the vendors are still going to have to be paid. Besides isn’t it just the American way to file bankruptcy after you lose a lawsuit? I’m sure that’s what this guy will end up doing. He sounds like a real winner.

  14. Maxie says:

    Doesn’t anyone know how much it costs to put on a wedding??? I seriously doubt she was only suing for emotional damages. Venues, Catering, DJ’s, photographer’s ALL ask for deposits months in advance and KEEP IT whether or not you have the wedding. That’s already in the thousands. I shudder to think what this girl’s dress cost and how much flowers/decorations were.
    As for the groom… he proably did make the right decision– but just he should have made it sooner!!!

    1. Victor says:


      Emotional damages.. that’s funny.

  15. Jay Field says:

    Wonder if I can sue my ex wife too ? I had at least $500,000 into her before she dumped me for her true soulmate !

  16. Megan Johnson says:

    that’s stupid. If you don’t want to get married, THEN DON’t PROPOSE!!! It takes a lot of money to plan a wedding and the bride’s side of the family has to foot the bill so the bride has every right in the world to sue if the groom decides to be stupid.

  17. Good On Ya, Mate! says:

    I think she’s doing a good thing. Weddings are f****ing expensive to put on, and for him to do that four days before the wedding? Absolute bulls**t.

  18. Ed says:

    I don’t think that she should get anything except for the engagement ring. Look, its just like a business deal that fell through, but he only orally agreed to the process. What is suing him going to prove, that she is a.)stupid for agreeing to marry such a pig and b) that he is dodging a bullet by not marrying this vengeful witch? I guess I can start suing women who cancel dates with me for the cost of the evening out. and as I can guess, the guy can now say he wants to go forward with the wedding, and then drop her like a bad habit 2 minutes later and avoid all this. I wish he would to teach this witch and her bloodsucking lawyer a thing or two.

  19. Remy says:

    Brings new meaning to “IIt’s Cheaper to Keep Her”. The price of a wedding can easily esclate into 6 figures, Never mind the heartbreak, or the embarrassment of the breakup… Weddings take months to plan and pull off. in the meantime you’ve spent money, and the vendors are still expecting you to pay the balance. That being said… Good for the brides who sue and win! We can be sure that these unfortunate grooms will think long and really hard before they propose again.

  20. Murky says:

    Big payday for what at most was a few thousand from the bride’s family which, indeed, the groom owes.

    It’s the 21st century, folks. Women, like men, should be expected to bear up and deal with last-minute disappointments like being jilted. If their roles had been reversed and the groom had been left standing at the altar, the courts would have told him to man up, because it’s a “jilted bride law,” not a “jilted fiance law.”

    I think the guy has a defense under the Fourteenth Amendment, myself. Men are not equally protected by this law.

  21. Jenna says:

    Are we missing something here? Maybe she and her family bridezilla’d him to the point of having to run away in order to save his manhood!!! I am a loving sis and watched this happen to my brother….not a pretty site 6 kids and child support plus alimony to a worthless money-grubber. However, there is no excuse for cheating on anyone if truly in love. You can’t tell me she had no clue he was not.

  22. TXRed says:

    Weddings can be expensive; things are reserved and deposits put down; usually there’s no money back if wedding’s cancelled at last minute. And by the time the wedding nears, guests from far away have made reservations for travel and for hotel, which may not be refundable at this late date. Of course either bride or groom can call of wedding but what I think has happend here is that he’s walking away without bearing any of the financial expenses that are non-refundable.

  23. clyde says:

    Look at all the women responding that she should get money. Shame on you. It’s just as much your fault for picking a non-ideal partner. This is just another way for women and lawyers to steal a man’s money. Just like divorce, only this time the courts/women are getting scared that they won’t be able to steal a mans money w/out a divorce proceeding. If you didn’t earn it, it isn’t yours. Heh, try telling that to American women–who think they are entitled to everything. Sad thing is, most American women are total losers, working for 10 bucks an hour while they expect to find a successful man to poach…go ladies!…pbbbt…not….

  24. Just Me says:

    The groom-to-be should marry the stripper…

  25. Makehimpay says:

    Right on! Weddings are expensive and the groom should pay for his half. Or the whole thing really since he welched on his end of the bargain.

  26. rm says:

    i agree with her suein to get back what ever shes out the groom did not JUST decide he didnt want to get married at the last min he knew a ways before. but question? i am a guy planing and payin for my wedding if she was to back out on me could i sue NOT LIKELY so the rule is a bit lop-sided

  27. melamo30 says:

    Half is fair. Can’t make someone marry you and there’s never a good time for a break up.

  28. Jan says:

    I would rather my fiance call off the weeding then to marry be and both of us be miserable BUT since he is the one that renigged on the deal and the weeding has already been paid for by me and my family then guess what…..PAY UP SUCKA

    1. Jan says:

      sorry – you can tell I’m not married. Both times I spelled weeding for WEDDING

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