Court: Vasectomy 'gift' not recoverable
SALT LAKE CITY - Lost love carries no refund, even if you have a receipt. The Utah Court of Appeals rejected an ex-fiance's request to recover thousands of dollars spent during his engagement on a vasectomy, a cruise to Alaska, a trip to France and other purchases.
Layne D. Hess sued Jody Johnston after she returned an engagement ring to him in April 2005 and called off a wedding planned for that summer.
Hess accused her of unjust enrichment and breach of contract, claiming he spent the money because of their upcoming marriage.
"Hess urges this court to adopt the position that any gift given during the engagement period carries an implied condition of marriage. We decline to do so," the appeals court said last week in upholding a lower court's ruling.
"If we were to imply a condition on all gifts given during the engagement period, every gift would be recoverable regardless of the size, cost, significance or nature of the gift," the court said.
Hess' expenses included $2,400 to help Johnston's son buy a car.
An engagement, the court noted, is a "test period" for people to test their feelings for each other.
"We see no benefit in discouraging or penalizing persons who realize ... for whatever reason they are unprepared to take such an important step," the court said of marriage.
The court found Hess didn't lose everything: Johnston at least returned the ring.