Judge grants motion dismissing lawsuit filed against dating app in Bakersfield lawyer’s death

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Superior Court judge has granted a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit that alleged a dating app used by slain Bakersfield attorney Marcos Vargas failed to properly screen users.

The ruling on Thursday by Judge Eric Bradshaw disposes of the case, and a trial date scheduled for next year was vacated.

Vargas, 26, was stabbed to death by Nicholas Quintana after they connected on the MeetMe app in 2017.

Vargas’ mother argued in a suit filed in 2019 that her son never would have used the app to reach out to Quintana if he had known there were pending assault and child cruelty charges against him.

“Defendants had reason to know that failing to conduct reasonable background checks into users would make occurrence of violent, dangerous acts against other users more likely,” the suit said.

But Bradshaw found The Meet Group, parent company of the app, had met its burden showing the causes of action listed in the suit — negligence, wrongful death and false advertising, among others — had no merit, according to a court filing.

“This shifted the burden to plaintiff to show a triable issue of material fact,” the filing says. “Plaintiff fails to do so, offering only conjecture in opposition.”

The judge also noted the assault and child cruelty charges against Quintana were ultimately dismissed.

Quintana, 23, is charged with murder and robbery in Vargas’ death. A trial in April ended in a hung jury, and a retrial is set for February.

He testified to killing Vargas in self-defense, but a prosecutor argued Quintana planned to attack and rob the attorney, who was nearly decapitated early Nov. 29, 2017.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More Local News