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Woman sues Match.com for bad date: says site should check criminal backgrounds

What do you think?

  • Match is liable; should run background checks

    Votes: 4 23.5%
  • Match is not liable; members solely repsonsible for taking precautions

    Votes: 13 76.5%

  • Total voters
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Prinnctopher's Belt

Antiquities Friend
SF Supporter
Woman sues Match.com, says date assaulted her
Lawsuit demands that Match.com screen its members for sexual predators

AP Associated Press
updated 4/15/2011 8:33:57 AM ET 2011-04-15T12:33:57

LOS ANGELES — A California woman has sued popular website Match.com, saying she was sexually assaulted by a man she met through the online dating service.

The civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court contends the alleged assailant had previously faced sex crime charges and that the website could have prevented the attack if it had checked his criminal background.
The woman suing the website is an entertainment executive identified in court documents only as Jane Doe.

Her attorney Mark L. Webb said his client was attacked at her home by Alan Paul Wurtzel after the two went on a second date at Urth Caffe in West Hollywood last year.

Wurtzel's attorney Sharon Morris said the incident involving Webb's client was "a consenting sexual encounter between two consenting adults."

A court spokeswoman could not confirm whether charges had been filed in connection with the recent court case.

In a separate case, Wurtzel was charged with two felony sexual assault counts in Los Angeles Superior Court last year. He pleaded not guilty to those charges. The case's next court date is April 26.

The civil suit filed Wednesday demands that Match.com screen its members for sexual predators. The lawsuit asks for a temporary injunction barring the site from signing up more members until Webb's client's demands are met.

Webb said basic screening would have prevented the attack and revealed Wurtzel's history.

Match.com attorney Robert Platt said the company can't be expected to screen users.

"Then you'd have to ask for people's social security numbers, which they don't want to do. And of course you'd have to pass on the cost to the consumer of doing this," he said.

The company has no liability, he claimed. "There is a provision on the website saying that they're not liable for this, and it lets people know that they're not providing this service and people use it at their own risk."



From Match.com's terms of service agreement, provision (7):

7. Your Interactions with Other Members. You are solely responsible for your interactions with other Members. You understand that Match.com does not in any way screen its Members, nor does Match.com inquire into the backgrounds of its Members or attempt to verify the statements of its Members. Match.com makes no representations or warranties as to the conduct of Members or their compatibility with any current or future Members. In no event shall Match.com be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct, indirect, general, special, compensatory, consequential, and/or incidental, arising out of or relating to the conduct of you or anyone else in connection with the use of the Service, including without limitation, bodily injury, emotional distress, and/or any other damages resulting from communications or meetings with other registered users of this Service or persons you meet through this Service. You agree to take reasonable precautions in all interactions with other Members of the Service, particularly if you decide to meet offline or in person. In addition, you agree to review Match.com's Dating Safety Tips prior to using the Service. You understand that Match.com makes no guarantees, either express or implied, regarding your ultimate compatibility with individuals you meet through the Service. You should not provide your financial information (for example, your credit card or bank account information) to other Members.
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ha ha i'm the only one who voted that match.com should check backgrounds.

it's probably never gonna happen, but i'd want to know if someone had a history of sexual assaults, or was a registered sex offender. but i guess that's what mister google is for.


Well-Known Member
I think it's one of those "if you're too stupid for the internet you don't need to be in it".

It's inexcusable if she was assaulted but, you have to be careful with the internet especially if you're meeting someone.


Well-Known Member

Our opinions are irrelevant now XD

...also, for "match.com criminal backgrounds" this thread is the second google result. I thought search engine crawlers left us alone? :|

I think the lawsuit is grounded enough to go to court. I don't know if it's Match's responsibility, but it's not frivolous. She was damaged to an extent by a policy of Match's. But it's not clear that the damage is their fault as such.

I don't like the idea of blanket background checks with flags for every crime, but sex criminals are already registered publicly and Match could reasonably and non-intrusively see if users are on those public registries.
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Well-Known Member
She should have made sure she was safe - after 2 dates he was in her home (alone)

To me - that is not making sure you are safe.

The responsibility lies with the woman involved not Match. com.
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