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article imageJilted bride sues for six-figure revenge from runaway groom

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By Kim I. Hartman     Dec 17, 2010 in Lifestyle
Chicago - A bride in Chicago is suing the man she was going to marry when he backed out of the wedding four days before the ceremony. She is seeking reimbursement for the cost of the wedding, which she claims totals $95,942 in expenses.
According to a report by Chicago Breaking News, the bride, Dominique A. Buttitta claims the groom “breached his promise to fulfill the agreement to marry and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on her when he told her on Sept. 27, days before their Oct. 2 wedding date, that ‘he would not marry her.’”
Buttitta, who is an attorney, filed the case against Vito Salerno, the former fiance and groom-to-be, in Cook County Circuit Court this week in Chicago, Illinois. The case claims Salerno told others the wedding was cancelled but denied saying so when Buttitta confronted him on Sept. 25. According to the suit, he called off the wedding two days later.
The suit's itemized list of expenses included over $30,000 for the banquet hall, $11,000 on lighting and flowers, $10,000 for an orchestra, $7,550 for a photographer, $5,000 for a wedding dress and accessories, and $1,700 for wedding favors. The expenses include other non-refundable purchases, including a bridesmaid luncheon, bridal shower and a deposit for a wedding planner, reported ABC news.
The lawsuit 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, said CBS in Los Angeles.
Buttitta is not the first bride, left at the altar, who has sued a runaway groom for repayment of expenses with the argument that she had relied on the promise of the defendant to marry her and spent monies based on that premise.
Rosemary Shell of Florida sued her ex-fiancé, Wayne Gibbs, for calling off their wedding and was awarded $150,000 by a jury, according to a WSB-TV report. Shell said she moved to Hall County from Florida, leaving behind a high-paying job, to join Gibbs. She also said that she has suffered emotionally and financially since their break-up in 2007.
Former New Jersey Net star Richard Jefferson, who cancelled his New York wedding with Kesha Ni'Cole Nichols, didn't need to be sued after The New York Post reported Jefferson called off the wedding with one-time Net dancer Nicholas via email just days before the event was planned.
He reportedly gave her a "six-figure" settlement for the incident to help her move on.
CBS Money Watch reports, a handful of insurance companies offer wedding insurance policies, including Traveler’s, Aon, and Fireman’s Fund. The Fireman’s wedding insurance policy, offered through the National Alliance of Special Event Planners, includes the “change of heart” coverage. A few caveats on that coverage for the jilted: the policy must be purchased by someone other than the bride and groom, and it must have been purchased at least four months before the planned wedding date.
In the Buttitta lawsuit, a letter to Salerno is attached that was written to inform him that the former bride was seeking the money for damages. It reportedly says: "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," it ended with, "Furthermore, please be advised that I am not still willing to marry you."
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