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Modern love?

No love potion for this doctor: Houston surgeon sues for engagement ring, Facebook insults

News_hypnotic engagement ring
Who gets the ring when the engagement goes bad?
News_Dr. Craig P. Fischer
No love doctor: Craig Fischer Photo via High Tech Surgeon

All's fair in love and lawsuits, at least according to a prominent Houston doctor.

Craig Fischer, the chief of digestive surgical oncology at Methodist Hospital and an assistant professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, has filed a suit against his former fianceé, Nichole Johnson, to recover a $73,000 engagement ring, another $50,000 for an apartment lease and $25,000 placed in a joint checking account as "wedding funds." He's also suing to prevent Johnson from defaming him on Facebook "to thousands of 'friends'" by making statements that Fischer was stalking her.

According to the suit, Johnson "never intended to marry" Fischer and "used the relationship as a means to get [his] money." Fischer also alleges that Johnson was cheating on him during their relationship.

"I've been in love with her for a long time," Fischer told the Houston Chronicle. "I still am, and I'm deeply hurt. This is tough because I really do love her."

Fischer seems to have a solid legal case to the 4-carat engagement ring — generally courts consider an engagament ring as a "conditional" gift, and have enforced its return when the recipient breaks off the relationship. (The interesting but long legal explanation is here.)

However, calling an apartment and a joint checking account engagement gifts might be more of a stretch — the relevant case law cited dates to 1942 and concerns a "parcel of land" gifted in contemplation of marriage.

And come on, what's worse — complaining about your crazy ex on Facebook, or filing a lawsuit essentially calling her a con artist, a cheater and a gold-digger?

Do you think Fischer is right to sue to get his money back, or is this a case of sour grapes run amok? Who should get to keep the engagement ring when the wedding is called off?

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