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Wake judge awards $30 million in alienation of affection suit

Posted March 14, 2011

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— A Wake County judge awarded the ex-wife of a local business owner $30 million Monday in an alienation of affection lawsuit against his current wife.

Superior Court Judge Carl Fox handed down a judgment against Betty Devin requiring her to pay over $10 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages to Carol Puryear, the former wife of Donald Puryear, who owns a trucking company in Raleigh. 

The settlement is the largest of its kind in North Carolina history, according to court records.

To win an alienation of affection suit, one party must prove that a third party acted maliciously to contribute to or cause the loss of affection in a marriage.

Devin was not represented and didn't appear in court.

Neither party could be reached for comment Monday evening.


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  • brentw62 Mar 24, 2011

    my guess would be wife #1 probably came out of divorce with a small fortune!!! get over it ! as for Carl Fox where was he when drunken dr. killed innocent motorist & got less than 5 yrs in prison?
    (probably min security!!! its a shame he's not in central prison with the other murderers) but Fox would never allow deserved penalty as he never did as d a in oh so liberal Orange county

  • sheablue22 Mar 23, 2011

    Until you've had it happen to you, don't be so quick to pass judgment. How do you think the term "homewrecker" got started? You want it soooo bad? Then pay for it! Lol! I love it.

  • RTPMedic Mar 17, 2011

    Thank you, Carl Fox.

  • janetclayton2 Mar 16, 2011

    This has so little to do with money and so much to do with integrity. The guy should have divorced his wife before doodlin' with someone else. NOOOOOOOO...the guys think they'll get clobbered in support and alimony if they divorce...well, fellas, you're still not smart enough not to get caught. You always do...better to divorce then show the court system to see how dumb you guys really are. Oh, by the way, this goes for cheating wives too. Don't think you won't get caught. Remember "If any more than one person knows a secret...there's pretty much 100% chance of getting caught". Wise up..stay single...and STOP WITH THE PREGNANCIES ALREADY!!!

  • Tray Cee Mar 16, 2011

    A lot of you don't know how this works - He wasn't sued because this was not a case against him. His case and his punishment was or will be determined in their divorce proceedings.

  • lilylogansmom Mar 16, 2011

    the biggest mistake I made when I found out my husband and the father of my two children (our youngest was a couple of months old)was having an affair with a "friend" of mine was leaving. Instead of using a attorney to send her a cease and assist letter, I should have used him to send her an alienatiion of affection letter, and sued the hell out of her. She ruined what I thought was a happy marriage, and my children of ever having a family with there mom and dad together. But thats okay, because what goes around comes around, and she will one day pay for what she did, just like he will. On a better note I am much happier with the man I am with now! Therefore anyone who knows Brandi Wicker Joseph from Buckhorn Road in Broadway NC tell her I said thanks, she did me a HUGE favor!

  • alwaysamused Mar 16, 2011

    To those of you who condemn women for "corrupting" a man's marriage, you must understand that a happy marriage is impossible to corrupt. Husbands and wives look elsewhere for what's missing. You have to communicate daily about your level of satisfaction with one another or you may get blindsided. Some of the happiest people I know are ones who left bad marriages for good ones, myself included. Life is too short to stay in a bad marriage just because you said you were going to.

  • alwaysamused Mar 16, 2011

    Alienation of affection? Really? Relationships are a gamble; no one knows when they get married if their partner will love them forever. One simply trusts and hopes. Any marriage therapist will tell you a broken marriage is never the "fault" of only one party. Too bad our legal system still condescends to women as though we're all damsels in distress, unable to determine or cope with what happens to us. Women (and men) should get an education or learn a skill, ensuring that if the worst happens, they can support themselves. As for maintaining a "standard of living," if I didn't earn it, I'm not entitled to it when I'm no longer part of the partnership.

  • plinker4fun Mar 16, 2011

    The funny part is her family is about just as wealthy as the Puryear family. She doesn't need the money. She's just one ticked off woman and just trying to make a point.

  • Rebelyell Mar 15, 2011

    This is not an AWARD of $30 million--thanks for misleading us, oh great OZ. It is simply a license to go find $30 million in assets and then go to court and try to seize them. She will be down to a handful of change after Puryear's professional lawyers tell them how to beat the system. Much ado about nothing.