British Columbia

Ex-couple battles over engagement rings he bought with her credit card

Boy meets girl. He proposes with rings he bought with her credit card. Then they break up — and end up in a court battle over who owes whom what.

Ex countersues former fiancée, saying he never owed her for rings and she kept his stuff

At one time, Mike McLaughlin and Corinne McKay had engagement rings with matching pink stones. When they split, they ended up in a legal battle over who owed who for the $3,490 jeweller bill. (Shutterstock / Zaharia Bogdan Rares)

Boy meets girl.

He proposes with matching rings he bought with her credit card.

She says yes, but they break up — and end up in a legal battle over who owes whom what.

She says he needs to pay her back for the rings, but he says they're basically even because she didn't give back his PlayStation, flat screen TV, surround sound system, microwave and a "professional" set of pots and pans when they split.

In short, that's the story of a B.C. couple that ended up going through the Civil Resolution Tribunal to settle things.

(Spoiler: she wins.)

Borrowed card to buy rings

Mike McLaughlin planned to propose to Corinne McKay in early 2017.

He didn't have his own credit card so asked to borrow hers to buy engagement rings with matching pink gemstones for $3,490.

She said yes — to handing over her card, and the proposal — and agreed he could pay her back at $500 a month.

Then they broke up. (It was "abrupt," according to the tribunal ruling.)

Mike McLaughlin borrowed his then-girlfriend's credit card to buy the rings he used to propose to her. They ended up in court over whether he said he'd pay her back. (Bert Savard/CBC)

McKay sued her ex-fiancé over the rings, saying he hadn't paid her back a penny.

He sued her back, saying he never agreed to repay her in the first place. He also said she didn't give back $4,900 worth of his stuff — the aforementioned, plus a couch and matching chair.

The tribunal ruled in McKay's favour on Nov. 2. The decision noted text messages and recordings McKay had proving McLaughlin agreed to pay her back.

He was ordered to repay his ex in full for the rings. She'll have 10 days to give them back once she's paid.

If McLaughlin doesn't want the rings back, the tribunal said she's free to do what she wants with them.

But what about the PlayStation?

As for McLaughlin's stuff — his counterclaim was dismissed.

McKay had tried to give the belongings back more than once, the tribunal found. At one point, McLaughlin and three friends brought two trucks to the ex-couple's old home to pack up his things.

He left with one load, saying he'd be back for the rest but never came back.

One of the things McLaughlin left behind when he moved out after a breakup: his PlayStation.

When McKay asked him about it later, he told her to "throw it away" and said "it doesn't matter."

"I find that Ms. Mckay made reasonable attempts to ensure that Mr. Mclaughlin could retrieve all of his belongings and ... she may now dispose of them as she sees fit," wrote a tribunal member in the ruling.


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