(CN) – A man who says he was cuckolded cannot collect $125,000 in damages from his wife’s alleged lover, the Virgin Islands Supreme Court ruled.
Dermont and Francesca Herman married in 1984 and had two children. But Dermont says that Matthias Matthew came between the couple by giving Francesca sexual attention and gifts.
During the alleged affair, Matthew was also married.
Dermont sued Matthew for alienation of affection and criminal conversation in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.
Though Francesca and Matthew both said they were just friends, their spouses testified that the relationship was romantic.
The jury believed the aggrieved spouses and awarded Dermont $75,000 for the alienation of affection and $50,000 for the criminal conversation.
On appeal, Matthew argued that the two aforementioned tort claims should not even be on the books. The Virgin Islands Supreme Court agreed and reversed the jury verdict.
“The torts of alienation of affection and criminal conversation have been abolished in the vast majority of American jurisdictions,” Justice Maria Cabret wrote for a three-member panel.
“The amatory torts are based on antiquated notions of a wife as the husband’s property and are otherwise in tension with the public policy of the Virgin Islands because they have a destructive effect on existing marriages,” she added.