A Las Vegas woman is suing Match.com for nearly $10 million because she says she was nearly killed by a man she met on the popular dating website. Her attorney accuses the site of failing to disclose the dangers of online dating to its subscribers.
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Clark County shows things started innocently enough. Mary Kay Beckman went on a few dates with Wade Ridley. She ended things, but he started sending her harassing text messages. Eventually he ambushed her when she arrived home one night in January 2011.
"He stabbed her dozens of times in the face. He smashed her head with a rock. He stomped her face with his feet. He left her for dead," attorney Marc Saggese said.
Saggese says a neighbor heard things, discovered Beckman on the ground and called for help.
Less than a month after that attack Saggese says Ridley met another woman through the website in Arizona and killed her. When he was interviewed by detectives about the case, he told them he was surprised to find out Beckman had survived his attack.
Ridley ended up being sentenced for murder in Arizona. He died in prison last year.
Saggese said this lawsuit is a failure to warn case, because Match.com doesn't warn subscribers of the dangers. He says there is nothing different between Match.com and Craigslist.com, but since you pay for Match.com people feel a false sense of security.
"Match does nothing to ensure the safety of its people, but you pay $30, you think you're getting some type of protection," Saggese said.
Match.com released this statement to FOX5:
"What happened to Mary Kay Beckman is horrible, but this lawsuit is absurd. The many millions of people who have found love on Match.com and other online dating sites know how fulfilling it is. And while that doesn't make what happened in this case any less awful, this is about a sick, twisted individual with no prior criminal record, not an entire community of men and women looking to meet each other."
They add they have safety tips throughout their website.
But Saggese said their commercials give subscribers a false sense of security, and that needs to be changed.
"They clearly say 'one in five get married,' that's their mantra. Every commercial of theirs I've ever seen shows two people who met, who are at a restaurant happy as can be and in love. It's as if everyone on Match has good intentions and they don't," Saggese added.
The attorney says the pricey $10 million lawsuit is aimed at getting the company's attention, which he says makes $500 million a year in profits. They want to bring awareness to the dangers of online dating and pay for Beckman's more than $400,000 in medical bills and counting.
The ultimate goal is to force a disclaimer on Match.com ads, similar to warnings on tobacco and alcohol products, so that people will think twice.
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