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Beckman v Match.com

Beckman v Match.com

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Published by Bennet Kelley
Motion to Diismis Opinion
Motion to Diismis Opinion

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Published by: Bennet Kelley on Jul 13, 2013
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01/15/2014

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12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728MARY KAY BECKMAN,Plaintiff(s),v.MATCH.COM,Defendant(s).2:13-CV-97 JCM (NJK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF NEVADAORDER 
Presently before the court is defendant Match.com, LLC’s motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 6).Plaintiff Mary Kay Beckman responded (doc. # 9), and Match.com replied (doc. # 11).
I.Background
This action arises out of the brutal attack of plaintiff, Mary Kay Beckman, by a WadeMitchell Ridley, a man whom she met on Match.com.
1
Plaintiff seeks redress for the “horrific harmsshe suffered as a result of the false information portrayed by [Match.com].” (Doc. # 1, 1:25-26).In late August 2010, plaintiff subscribed to Match.com’s service and set up an online profile.(
 Id.
at ¶¶ 9-10). Shortly thereafter, plaintiff began interacting with another Match.com user, Ridley.(
 Id.
at ¶ 11). On or about September 26, 2010, plaintiff and Ridley had their first date in Las Vegas, Nevada. (
 Id.
at ¶ 13).
1
Match.com operates an online dating service athttp://match.com.Match.com enables subscribers to searchfor and find people with whom they might wish to enter into a personal relationship.
James C. MahanU.S. District Judge
 
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728After this initial meeting, plaintiff and Ridley continued their dating relationship for approximately 10 days. (
 Id.
at ¶ 14). On October 3, 2010, they had their last physical meeting and plaintiff ended the relationship. (
 Id.
). In the following days, Ridley sent plaintiff numerousthreatening and harassing text messages, to which she did not respond. (
 Id.
at ¶ 15).On January 21, 2011, Ridley ambushed plaintiff at her residence. (
 Id.
at ¶ 16). Ridleyrepeatedly stabbed and kicked plaintiff in the attack. (
 Id.
at ¶¶ 17-18). As a result of the attack, plaintiff suffered severe physical injuries requiring several hospitalizations and surgical procedures.(
 Id.
at ¶¶ 23-30).On January 18, 2013, plaintiff filed a complaint in this court. Plaintiff asserts five causes of action against Match.com: (1) negligent misrepresentation; (2) deceptive trade practices pursuant to15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1); (3) negligence (failure to warn); (4) negligence; and (5) negligent infliction of emotional distress. (
 Id.
at ¶¶ 31-71). Plaintiff seeks nearly $10,000,000 in compensatory and punitivedamages, in addition to attorneys’ fees and costs. (
 Id.
at 10:13-17).Match.com brings the instant motion on the basis that plaintiff’s complaint fails to state aclaim under Rule 12(b)(6). Match.com seeks dismissal of all of plaintiff’s claims with prejudice.
II. Legal standard
A court may dismiss a plaintiff’s 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 plainstatement 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 factualallegations, it demands “more than labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the elementsof a cause of action.”
 Ashcroft v. Iqbal 
, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (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 its face.”
 Iqbal 
, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citation omitted).. . .. . .
James C. MahanU.S. District Judge
- 2 -
 
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728In
 Iqbal 
, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply whenconsidering motions to dismiss. First, the court must accept as true all well-pled factual allegationsin the complaint; however, legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 1950.Mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, do notsuffice.
 Id.
at 1949.Second, the court must consider whether the factual allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief.
 Id.
at 1950. A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff’s complaintalleges facts that allows the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for thealleged misconduct.
 Id.
at 1949.Where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has “alleged – but not shown – that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
 Id.
(internal quotations omitted). When the allegations in a complaint have not crossed the line fromconceivable to plausible, plaintiff's claim must be dismissed.
Twombly
, 550 U.S. at 570.The Ninth Circuit addressed post-
 Iqbal 
 pleading standards in
Starr v. Baca
, 652 F.3d 1202,1216 (9th Cir. 2011). The
Starr 
court stated, “First, to be entitled to the presumption of truth,allegations in a complaint or counterclaim may not simply recite the elements of a cause of action, but must contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable theopposing party to defend itself effectively. Second, the factual allegations that are taken as true must plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be subjected to the expense of discovery and continued litigation.”
 Id.
 
II.Discussion
2
 
A.Deceptive trade practices, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1)
 
(claim two)
Match.com argues that plaintiff’s claim under 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1) fails because plaintiff lacks standing.
See
15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(2) (stating “The Commission is hereby empowered and
2
Match.com’s motion requests the court to take judicial notice of Match.com’s “Terms of Use Agreement” and“Safety Tips”. (Doc. # 6, Exs. A & B). Plaintiff opposes the request on the ground that the documents are “subject toa reasonable dispute.” (Doc. # 9, 9:10-11). However, in Match.com’s initial request, it stated that “[c]onsideration of these materials is not necessary for a decision on this motion.” (Doc. # 6, 6 n.1). On this basis, the court declines to take judicial notice of exhibits A & B.
James C. MahanU.S. District Judge
- 3 -

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