On May 14, a California federal judge dismissed a lawsuit over the failed sale of the 230 ct. Wynn Diamond.
According to legal papers filed in February 2012, Los Angeles dealer Diane Breitman had been approached by magnate Steve Wynn in 2011 to sell the 230 ct. H VS1 grade pear-shaped stone bearing his name, considered the 12th–largest diamond in the world. According to the filings, Texas dealer Brett Stettner agreed to buy the stone for $23.5 million, but the deal fell through.
The $1.8 million suit alleged that Stettner’s perceived claim to the stone caused other interested potential buyers to back away, and that the failed deal damaged Breitman’s relationship with Wynn. The suit’s allegations included breach of contract and fraud.
But U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled that there was never a proper contract between Breitman and Stettner, since Brietman was only the “agent” for the diamond, but did not have the authority to enter into an agreement on Wynn’s behalf without his permission. Gutierrez’s ruling stated that there was “no evidence of fraud” on Stettner’s part and that Brietman failed to prove emotional distress as the result of the cancelled sale.
Breitman’s attorney told JCK she plans to appeal the ruling.
“The judge denied [Diane] Breitman her day in court, bent over backward to help the defendant so the judge could get rid of the case, and prevented us from being able to conduct full discovery,” says Reid Breitman, her attorney.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Stettner had to endure the expense, annoyance, and embarrassment of a baseless lawsuit for over a year,” says his attorney, W. Joel Bryant. “Perhaps now Mr. Stettner can begin to reclaim his reputation in the industry that Ms. Breitman (and her son, Reid) worked to tarnish.”