A New Jersey appeals court ruled Friday that former Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark’s ex-girlfriend cannot sue him for failing to keep promises made on the condition that she get an abortion.
While Reyna Purcell’s decision to get an abortion may have been influenced by Yormark, the court says that the decision was ultimately her own. ”Under the law and public policy, there is no cause of action for terminating one’s pregnancy and then regretting the decision due to subsequent events,” the panel wrote, according to Fox Sports.
Purcell got pregnant shortly after she began a relationship with Yormark, and she claimed that while she wished to keep the baby, Yormark threatened to break up with her unless she got an abortion. She also claims that Yormark promised to keep dating her and take her on a vacation if she went through with the abortion.
Shortly after getting the abortion in 2011, Yormark broke up with her, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Purcell’s lawsuit states that Yormark’s coercion on the matter inflicted significant amounts of stress on her. Since the promise was made verbally and without legal counsel, it was not legally enforceable, according to judges.
Purcell’s lawyers countered that the lawsuit wasn’t about the verbal agreement, but rather the interference by Yormark in the woman’s ”recognized reproductive liberties” by ”maliciously and fraudulently commandeering and corrupting (her) protected right to wield control over her body and make her own reproductive choices.”
But appeals justices upheld the original decision, saying that ”all of plaintiff’s claims were based on defendant’s promise to stay in her life, which is unenforceable.”
Purcell’s lawyer said that he is disappointed by the court’s ruling:
”Notwithstanding the court’s opinion, it was our collective view that we brought appropriate claims that should have been recognized,” he said. ”They were admittedly novel, but we thought they were founded on proper legal principles.”
Requests for comment by Yormark’s lawyer were not immediately returned.