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Beckman v. Match.Com, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 10, 2017

MARY KAY BECKMAN, Plaintiffs,
v.
MATCH.COM, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant Match.com, LLC's ("Match") motion to dismiss (ECF No. 34) plaintiff Mary Kay Beckman's ("Beckman") amended complaint (ECF No. 31). Beckman filed a response (ECF No. 35)[1], to which Match replied (ECF No. 38).

         I. Background

         This action arises out of the attack of Beckman by Wade Ridley[2] ("Ridley"), a man she met using Match's service. (ECF No. 1 at 3). On September 26, 2010, Beckman and Ridley had their first date, but less than ten days later, on October 3, 2010, Beckman ended the relationship. (ECF No. 31 at 3).

         Between October 4, 2010, and October 7, 2010, Ridley sent "numerous threatening and harassing text messages to [Beckman], to which she did not respond." (ECF No. 31 at 3). Four months after Beckman ended the relationship, on January 21, 2011, Ridley viciously attacked her. (ECFNo. 31 at 4).

         On January 18, 2013, Beckman filed a complaint in this court asserting five causes of action against Match: (1) negligent misrepresentation; (2) deceptive trade practices pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1); (3) negligence (failure to warn); (4) negligence; and (5) negligent infliction of emotional distress. (ECF No. 1).

         This court, in an order dated May 29, 2013, dismissed Beckman's complaint for, inter alia, Match's immunity under the Communications Decency Act ("CD A"). (ECFNo. 18). Beckman appealed that order, and in a memorandum dated September 1, 2016, the Ninth Circuit affirmed this court's dismissal of all claims except one: negligence (failure to warn). (ECF No. 24).

         The Ninth Circuit reasoned that Beckman's failure to warn claim was not barred by the CDA under Doe No. 14 v. Internet Brands, Inc., 824 F.3d 846 (9th Cir. 2016). Because the failure to warn claim was not barred by the CDA, Beckman was afforded the opportunity to amend her complaint, and now brings one claim for negligently failing to warn. (ECF No. 31 at 5). In her amended complaint, Beckman added the following allegations:

24. Upon information and belief, MATCH received complaints that subscriber(s) commonly known as Wade Ridley, Wade Williams or others, harassed, threatened, and/or violently attacked other women utilizing MATCH'S services. Despite these complaints, MATCH allowed Wade Ridley's, Wade Williams' and/or other profile names to remain active.
34. Defendant MATCH owed a duty of reasonable care to inform and warn Plaintiff that use of the Match.com website generally, and Wade Ridley (and aliases) specifically, were likely dangerous and that Members including Wade Ridley (included aliases) had identified and attacked other women using Defendant MATCH'S service prior to January 21, 2011.

(ECF No. 31 at 4-5).

         Beckman alleges that Match had a duty to warn her that use of its website generally, and Ridley specifically, were dangerous. (ECF No. 31 at 5).

         II. Legal Standard

         A court may dismiss a complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide "[a] short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands "more than labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).

         "Factual allegations must be enough to rise above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on ...


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