A woman's online dating experience recently turned into nightmare. She sued Match.com on Friday for $10 million after being stabbed and stomped on the head by a man she broke up with after only eight days, according to reports.
Does she have a legitimate case?
Well, Match.com itself doesn't think so, calling 50-year-old Mary Kay Beckman's case "absurd."
Beckman believes that Match.com failed to alert her of dangerous users and alleged that the company doesn't do enough to keep violent offenders off their website.
Beckman's hell began when she met a man named Wade Ridley on Match.com in 2010, but after quickly discovering that he wasn't a good fit for her, she broke up with him after just eight days. Four months later, Ridley stabbed her with a butcher knife 10 times and stomped on her head when the knife broke and he could no longer stab her.
Beckman spoke to KVVU-TV in Las Vegas and recounted her horror.
"He broke into my garage," she said of the night of Jan. 21, 2011, four months after the September breakup. "When the police arrested him, he said he wasn't there to hurt me. He was there to kill me. His intent was to kill me that night."
After the attack, Beckman, a Las Vegas real estate agent, was hospitalized for months, having undergone three head surgeries to repair a broken jaw, preserve her eyesight and remove part of her skull. Her medical bills have run up over $400,000 as a result.
Beckman specifically wants Match.com to more prominently include a disclaimer of the dangers associated with using the website.
"God saved me that night for a reason," she said. "I shouldn't be here today. It's my mission and goal to save someone from being hurt or help someone make a different decision with their online dating choices."
Match.com, based in Dallas, Texas, said that they are shocked by the attack but assured that they do indeed warn users of the risk involved in online dating.
"What happened to Mary Kay Beckman is horrible but this lawsuit is absurd," the company said in a statement. "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."
Beckman's attorney, Marc Saggese, told KAS-TV that Match.com is "absolutely not safe" as a meeting place even though subscribers who pay $30 a month to use the service might think it is and the basis of the lawsuit is Match.com's advertising, which lulls women and men into "a false sense of security."
"They don't say one in five users are part of an attempted murder," Beckman said. "They don't tell you people are missing."
So, does Beckman have a case after reading all that? Sound off below in the comments section!
Here are several other cases of online dating gone awfully wrong.
- Less than a month after Ridley attacked Beckman in January (and while Beckman was still in the hospital), Ridley met a 62-year-old woman named Anne Marie Simenson through Match.com in Arizona. He stabbed her to death with a machete and a butcher knife before getting away with her car, jewelry and electronics. When police captured him shortly after that attack, he told officers that he wanted Beckman dead for "mistreating" him and was astonished that she had survived. For the death of Simenson, Ridley was convicted and sentenced to 70 years, but he committed suicide in 2012 while serving.
- Peter Chapman, known as the "Facebook killer," was sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in prison over the death of a 17-year-old teenager Ashleigh Hall in England in October 2009. Chapman met and befriended Hall on Facebook by posing as a teenage boy named Peter Cartwright that included a picture of him bare-chested. Chapman, who had a history of sex assaults dating back to the age of 15, kidnapped, raped and murdered Hall and then dumped her in a farmer's field.
- Raymond Dennis, 35, stabbed 23-year-old Nimzay Aponte to death in the Bronx in May 2009 after he stalked her online and became enraged when Aponte, who told friends that he was a harmless "crackhead," refused to meet him in person after they chatted online. Dennis tracked Aponte to a Bronx job fair where he found her talking with a group of men and women, came back to the same fair the next day and stabbed her. Dennis had been arrested multiple times before for assault and drug possession.