Woman Sues Match.com after Date Tries to Murder Her

Worst. Date. Ever.

  • Share
  • Read Later
LOIC VENANCE / AFP / Getty Images

Here’s the story of a date that’s probably not going to make it into one of Match.com’s television ads.

Mary Kay Beckman first met Wade Ridley after the online service paired the two up in September 2010, and knew him for only 10 days before breaking up with him. Four months later, according to Courthouse News Service, on the night of Jan. 21, 2011, Ridley hid in her garage and eventually attacked her, stabbing her 10 times and kicking her in the head. Beckman is now suing Match.com for $10 million, citing negligence, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive trade, failure to warn and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

(MORE: Major Online Dating Sites to Start Background Checks on Users)

In her official complaint, Beckman claimed that the site led her to believe that she’d end up in a  “stable and loving relationship with another member” and didn’t properly warn her about the dangers of meeting “an individual whose intentions are not to find a mate, but to find victims to kill or rape.” However, Beckman has not sued Ridley, who died in prison last year while serving  a sentence of up to 70 years for the crime. (For the record, he was also wanted for killing an ex-girlfriend in Phoenix.)

Following the attack, Beckman underwent several surgeries to repair her jaw, save her eyesight and hearing and to replace part of her skull, Courthouse News Service reports. She seeks $346,000 in economic damages, $5.4 million in noneconomic damages, and $4.1 million in punitive damages. In a statement, Match.com agreed that what happened to Beckman was “horrible” but said that the lawsuit was “absurd” and that the site cannot be held responsible for the actions of one “sick, twisted individual.”

MORE: Mapping Our Online Dating Lingo

79 comments
DownTheRabbitHole
DownTheRabbitHole

I think dating sites want money. They want the possibility of having every and anyone to sign up to pay them when they know they can't get in trouble for people not using precautions knowing what to expect when using a dating site. Using back ground checks would keep a lot more people/potential customers from signing up even if they have a minor things worrying that even something small would scare a searcher away.  I agree that it is horrible what she went through, but it was another unfortunate thing that can happen to anyone.  She just saw a hopeful reason to try and get some money though I know it had to really suck going through what she had to go through. But all in all.. She chose to date him.. She chose to use a dating site.  But also, any stranger or stalker could do the same thing.. Unless they are rich, which is highly unlikely who are you going to sue then?  It's all about chance. Being on dating site is no different from being out in public in my opinion.

sean.duggan
sean.duggan

Don't most of these paid dating services claim to have vetted the matches? If he had a criminal record, and it can be shown that they didn't pick up on it, this is in many ways no different from someone selling a used car and not disclosing to the buyer that the brakes fail after the car gets up to 55 MPH.

Me, I met my wife via OKCupid, but it's gone downhill a bit since Match.com bought them out.

TracyDBurton
TracyDBurton

Why would anyone want to pay for a dating site? My brother uses plentyoffish.com It is a free dating site. People need to learn how to meet people in their home towns and falling in love the normal way,Not meeting people online,You are not there with them everyday,therefore you can not hear about them or see them,Guess it is a chance you take.You can not sue a friend who referred you on a blind date,so what is the difference between them and match.com grow up,dont take anyone to a private place,meet them in public only,Have you not heard of a restraunt?

TrueBeliever
TrueBeliever

Yes.  It is horrible.  If he hid in her garage, how did he get there?  Had she entrusted him with an access code while they were dating -- that would be her own negligence.  Had she entrusted him with a key -- that would be her negligence.   Did she bother to get a Restraining Order against him when they broke up -- that omission would be her negligence.  Had she acquainted him with her dog -- that would be her own  negligence.  Did she have an alarm system which he would have activated when entering the garage -- that omission would be her own negligence.  Did she say rude things to him when they broke up?  If so, she could easily anticipate his "push back."

IsabelleIllbefreeFreeman
IsabelleIllbefreeFreeman

It is horrible what happened to this woman. Still, I question why the Match.com suit makes headline news as AA murder suit by parents of slain young woman, Karla Brada, is virtually ignored?
Whose Daughter Must Die Next?
Her name was Karla Brada. She dated a man she met in AA. Her AA sponsor encouraged the relationship. He (allegedly) strangled her after she asked him to leave her condo. He then slept with her dead body. Women must be made aware of how unsafe they are. No one deserves to be attacked and killed whether they are looking for love or help. Is this not news worthy?

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/09/28/50771.htm
 
http://cougarblogger.com/2013/01/10/parents-worst-nightmare/

DoraValencia
DoraValencia

Is impossible to have background checks on every member that joins a site... And when meeting a new partner is not that hard to Google the individual at least to make sure they are not "a person of interest" in another crime.. This lawsuit is completely ridiculous, whenever we meet a new person there is a potential they'll be a serial killer or rapist, is up to each of us to be smart and take care of ourselves. I feel for Ms. Beckman but is not the sites fault. it was her choice to meet this guy beyond the site. 

Simbasu
Simbasu

Although I truly feel for Miss Beckman, I can't ever remember meeting anyone who wasn't aware that ANY new male in their life, especially one she does not meet through references or work, could be dangerous.  It defies common sense.  It seems to me that these days people are quick to align themselves with the sleazy attorneys that come out of the woodwork hoping to capitalize on tragedies like this, and deluding the victims into believing the deepest pockets are to blame. And to RossGonz, I need to point out that there are millions of users, and you honestly expect them to do a background check on them all?  Get real.  What if she had met him in a nightclub or bar, are they at fault for not doing background checks on their patrons?

jati
jati

The match was made in Hell.

PaytonBlake
PaytonBlake

I didn't realize people thought that just because you're on a dating site, means that everyone who uses it is completely safe....I thought people were smarter than that.

RossGonz
RossGonz

Both parties are to blame .. match.com should have back round checks and she should of taken precautions in meeting guys online. Alway do your home work "do your own back round check ".

YsabellaCHall
YsabellaCHall

Whats annoying me is that people are saying that she is trying to get match to take responsibility for HER actions. THe peson in the wrong is not her or match. Its the person who attempted the murder.

RonaldR
RonaldR

Well her actions now might show why he tried to kill her  -"PRIZE GOLD DIGGER"   a prize fool anyway blaming every one else except HER the real problem.  

sandivengeance
sandivengeance

If she was going to engage in this method of meeting people, she should have taken precautions, it is not the fault of the site that this happened to her. Neither is it her fault though, she was just very very unlucky.

john_xvra
john_xvra

This is another waste of our tax money.  Being unlucky is not a sue able cause.

pblakeii
pblakeii

No one takes responsibility for their own decisions any more, they always want to find someone else to blame, and hopefully someone with deep pockets. So sad.

StacyJohnson
StacyJohnson

This is terrible. The women should see Terms and conditions of using website first I am sure the website people are clever enough to insert a point in T & C for the defense.

KimberlyLozada
KimberlyLozada

It's terrible that she went through that, but she had to have known there was some kind of risk  meeting someone on a dating site.  I don't care how reputable Match.com is, it's still a website where people could be anything they want to be and hide their bad intentions with good intentions.  

Ronnie64
Ronnie64

Are you kidding me?????  How would a background check have aided in this situation??? Anyone can be anything they choose to be online or for a short time, we ALL know this.  You can be with someone for 20 yrs and not REALLY know them or what they're capable of.  This "woman" should be ashamed of herself - attempting to profit from her own lack of good judgement and common sense as well as defame a company . I hope Match.com doesn't cave and give her a settlement.  This is a tragedy no one should endure but it's no fault of ANYONE except the deceased man's and hers.  She should have suffered her physical pain, mental anquish and embarrassement locally rather than made a national fool of herself.  Crazy + Crazy = Match - looks like Match.com did its job to me.

ElizabethRupe
ElizabethRupe

I would sue them too cause they are a site that should only have decent people on board maybe they should make everyone take a litmus test and be screened to ward off crazy people

TrueBeliever
TrueBeliever

@DoraValencia Wrong Dora!  If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times -- don't date woman-bashing criminal son of a bitchin' god-forsaken trouble makers.  Google does not predict violence against women ... or vice-versa.  Google should be sued over this.

TrueBeliever
TrueBeliever

@RossGonz "Should of?"   "Back round check?"

You should of re-enrolled in your ESL course ... You need more training ... Do your back round check.

MargaritaGamero
MargaritaGamero

Absolutley! She is responsible for her own safety. She should have been more careful in dating the person.  You date them for the first time at a public place that you know and are comfortable with... you DO NOT take them home!  Same with people you meet at bars!  You DO NOT invite them home... if you want to see them again, you meet them at a public safe place for you.  Ultimatley YOU are responsible for your own safety! Not the cops nor the bar where you met, nor the social nets online...

cjus2473
cjus2473

@Ronnie64 

 ronnie64...seriously...did you read (For the record, he was also wanted for killing an ex-girlfriend in Phoenix.)

when you are wanted, it will show up on a background check - especially if it is for murder..even if you are a person of interest....

so this site claims it does background checks so folks who are rapists, pedophiles, married claiming to be single are not getting through...

i would say she has a case...and knowing how most juries act, i think she will win

PollyAnnaCurmudgeon
PollyAnnaCurmudgeon

@Ronnie64 Really, Ronnie64?  You sound deranged trying to blame the victim in any capacity.  Her lawsuit may or may not have any legal merit, but to try to heap shame or blame onto this victim spotlights your own depravity.

seriously?
seriously?

@ElizabethRupe Are you the lady that won the lawsuit against McDonald's for spilling hot coffee on yourself?

commentonitall
commentonitall

@carrollstraus @pblakeii 

It's hard to have compassion when she is just seeking money, especially 5.4 million.  People are hurt everyday, children starve in Africa, yet you don't see them suing the US because of our abundance of food.  Conditions and locations and other's actions are things that are not able to be controlled.  Besides the TOS which she agreed to by using match keeps her from being allowed to have a case.  What if she met this guy in a city and she decided to file a suit against the city for the man residing there.  That is essentially what she is trying to do.  Life sucks sometimes but you can't file a suit against GOD.

Ronnie64
Ronnie64

@cjus2473 @Ronnie64  I apologize, I misread the above re his "wanted" status. I read another article that stated he admitted to the killing as he was in jail prior to killing himself.  However, Match.com specifically states background checks are NOT performed on the members and you have to check that you have read and understand this and assume the risk.  Everyone knows there is risk involved even without that disclosure. I am not blaming the victim in the least for the actions of this male person but for her or anyone else to blame the website and hold them responsible as well as force them to compensate her, well that's just absurd. 

john_xvra
john_xvra

@PollyAnnaCurmudgeon @Ronnie64 Ronnie is right.  There is no reason for not taking precautions.  Anyone you meet can have other reasons.  No matter when you meet or how.  

Ronnie64
Ronnie64

@PollyAnnaCurmudgeon @Ronnie64 I am in NO way blaming the victim for this horrific act and it's a terrible tragedy what she has endured!! I am merely making a point that we as a society need to take responsibility for our own actions and stop looking elsewhere to place blame and profit from it to boot.  People do bad things, NOT guns, cars, knives, web sites. etc. We are all taught at a very young age to avoid strangers. Everyone knows there is RISK involved - she was willing to accept that risk, now wants to profit from this because she got a bad apple.  It is NOT the web sites fault or responsibility, PERIOD!!! Wonder if there was a background check performed on the guy to get the knife he used, perhaps she should sue that manufacturer as well.

mbcls
mbcls

@Ronnie64 just like background check for buying gun doesn't work, right?   why do we even bother?

cjus2473
cjus2473

@seriously? @ElizabethRupe  

ok....since i had to argue the mcdonald's case in moot court, let me explain it...

mcdonald's was sued over 108 times and told over 108 times by the fda to lower the temp on their coffee as they had 108 people who scaled themselves...mcdonald's made the decision to keep it at the temp it was out and pay the price...

the woman was 81...when the coffee tipped over on to her lap, it scalded her genitals with 3rd degree burns...this means this woman was hospitalized and had to have her genitals "scrapped" of dead skin for over 2 weeks...

the jury asked what the sales of coffee for mcdonalds was for 1 day...over 1 million, and that is what they awarded her...

don't know if you are old enough, but ford made a care called the pinto...it was shown to burst into flames if hit from the rear...it was told to put a plate on the rear of the car to keep this from happening...the plate would have cost $.86 per car....ford made the decision, taken from notes during board meetings, to not do this...it was discussed at their board meeting what the cost of a human life would be, and ford decided it was cheaper to pay for maybe 1 or 2 people dying than a recall....

so when a corporation does harm, it has to pay....but you can always get a pinto and test it out or take a large cup of mcdonalds' coffee and turn it upside down on your lap to see if they lower the temp

Ronnie64
Ronnie64

@mbcls   People can pass a background check one day and flip out the next. Do you think true criminals obtain guns legally?????  People kill people with ALL sorts of items, guns, knives. bats, etc that never ever had a previous criminal history nor "diagnosed" mental disorder. Holy cow should they do background checks to buy pencils??? After all, they can be sharpened and used to kill someone. There are deranged mean spirited people out there. It's a risk to live in this demented world. "People" do mean bad things!!!

carrollstraus
carrollstraus

@ShannonPincence @cjus2473 @seriously? @ElizabethRupe She was putting the sugar in. She had tp remove the lid. How else would anyone do that?It was not "in her lap" is spilled onto her lap as she was a passenger in the car. He son had PULLED OVER to make spilling less likely. NO ONE expects coffee to be that hot. There could have been a warning. Self righteous ignorance. Fie.

ShannonPincence
ShannonPincence

@cjus2473 @seriously? @ElizabethRupe The woman shouldn't have had the coffee between her legs in the first place. When you make coffee it's gonna be hot, that's why it's put in styrofoam cups. Plus cars have cup holders for a reason. If she had put the coffee in a cup holder like a normal person would, then she wouldn't have gotten burned. If her car didn't have cupholders then she shouldn't have bought the coffee in the first place.