Alienation Of Affections Case Awarded
Special Report - March 18, 2011
Earlier this week, a superior court judge awarded the largest settlement in North Carolina history in an alienation of affections lawsuit filed by the former wife of a Raleigh business owner against the man’s current wife, who is accused of breaking up a 15-year marriage. According to media reports, on March 14, Superior Court Judge Carl Fox ordered Betty Devin to pay $30 million in compensatory and punitive damages to Carol Puryear, the former wife of a Raleigh trucking company owner, Donald Puryear, for Devin’s role in contributing to the demise of the couple’s marriage, which ended in 2009. Devin is currently married to Donald Puryear.
North Carolina is one of seven states that has the civil law actions of alienation of affections and criminal conversation. Alienation of affections establishes liability for a third party who commits wrongful and malicious acts that cause the loss of the love and affection between a married person and their spouse. Criminal conversation is a civil action against a third party for committing adultery with another person’s husband or wife. In 2009, the General Assembly amended the alienation of affections and criminal conversation torts to only apply to actions that occur before the date of a couple’s separation, and filed within three years of the last act.
The North Carolina Family Policy Council has fought consistently to preserve the right of a wronged spouse to sue a third party who alienates the affections of their spouse and who commits adultery with their husband or wife.
An Expensive Affair - March 23, 2010
Laws That Protect NC Marriages Diminish - October 9, 2009
Limiting Laws that Protect Marriages - July 9, 2009
Judge Awards $500,000 Under Alienation of Affection Law - June 14, 2006
"Protecting Marriage: Ten Good Reasons to Preserve Meaningful Tort Laws" - June, 2002
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