How a careless text message cost one man $53,000

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One careless text message ended up costing a Buffalo, NY-area man $53,000, Buffalo News reported earlier this week. Louis J. Billittier Jr. dumped his fiancee with a terse text message, breaking off the engagement. Apparently trying to calm down the situation, he then sent a fateful text: “Plus you get a $50,000 parting ring. Enough for a down payment on a house.” Each of those 90 characters ended up having a price tag of roughly $600.

New York state law usually sides with men, giving them the right to demand back an engagement ring if a wedding never takes place. But the man’s text message using the term “parting ring” term seemed to clearly indicate that his former fiancee is entitled to keep the 2.97-carat diamond ring.

When the man changed his mind and started demanding return of the ring, the damage was already done.

“The text messages … have persuaded this court that it is highly probable that a valid gift was given to her after the engagement was terminated” noted State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia, the judge presiding over the civil case.

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