Woman Sues Match.com For $10 Million After Date Tries To Kill Her
Will Match.com pay up $10 million for setting up a Las Vegas woman with a would-be rapist and murderer? A Clark County Court will decide now that Mary Kay Beckman has sued Match.com LLC for negligence and infliction of emotional distress after a man she met through the dating site tried to murder her in January 2011.
Beckman joined the online-dating site in August 2010 and was matched up with Wade Mitchell Ridley in late September. But after dating Ridley for 10 days, Beckman broke off the relationship. Ridley began sending her threatening and harassing messages before hiding in Beckman’s garage and stabbing her 10 times Jan. 26, 2011. He fled the scene, leaving her for dead.
“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 told Las Vegas’ Fox5.
Beckman—who has undergone multiple surgeries to repair her jaw, preserve her eyesight and hearing, and replace part of her skull—now claims Match.com misled her into believing its service would result in a “stable and loving relationship with another member.” According to her complaint, the Web site’s advertisements failed to warn her she could meet “an individual whose intentions are not to find a mate, but to find victims to kill or rape.”
“They don't say one in five are part of an attempted murder or one in five are killed,” Beckman told Las Vegas’ Fox5. “They don't tell you people are missing.“
Beckman cannot sue her attacker because he is dead. Less than a month after his attack on Beckman, Ridley met an Arizona woman through Match.com and murdered her. He later told detectives he had intended to kill Beckman and was surprised to learn she had survived.
“I struggled a lot thinking why did she die and why did I live,” Beckman told Fox5.
Ridley was sentenced 28 to 70 years but committed suicide while in prison.
Beckman is seeking $346,000 in economic damages, $5.4 million in noneconomic damages and $4.4 million in punitive damages.
Match.com defends its position in the case.
“What happened to Mary Kay Beckman is horrible, but this lawsuit is absurd,” Match.com said. “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.“
But Saggese told Fox5 the dating site’s commercials give subscribers a false sense of security.
“They clearly say ‘one in five get married,' that's their mantra,” he said. “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.”