The Massachusetts Appeals Court today dismissed a woman's attempt to claim monetary damages from the man who confessed after they married and then had an affair that he had never loved her.
In a case out of Essex County, the woman charged that she never would have signed over half ownership of her house or agreed to merge her bank accounts with his - let alone help pay for his son's tuition - in fact, would never have married the man in the first place if she had known he was such a lying liar, and that he therefore owed him more than now worthless romantic assertions.
But the appeals court said that while the breakup - which led to an annulment - was unfortunate, nothing the man did represented a tort for which he should pay her money, because the woman had provided no evidence of physical harm or any "undue influence" over her actions.
Even the man's affair, which led to his confession of true not-love was not the sort of "extreme and outrageous" conduct, "beyond all possible bounds of decency, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community," to warrant monetary damages, the court ruled.
The plaintiff was not helped by the state "heart balm" law, passed in 1938, that specifically states that "breach of contract to marry shall not constitute an injury or wrong recognized by law, and no action, suit or proceeding shall be maintained therefor" and "alienation of affection and criminal conversation shall not constitute an injury or wrong recognized by law, and no action, suit or proceeding shall be maintained therefor."
And so, the court concluded:
As evidenced here, not all human actions in the context of the dissolution of a marriage have an avenue for legal recourse, no matter how much anger, sorrow, or anxiety they cause.