A Charlotte man is suing his ex-wife's lover as well as a website which he says led to the breakup of his marriage.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Robert Schindler is suing the woman's alleged partner in the affair, along with Ashley Madison and its Canadian corporate parent.
Ashley Madison uses the slogan, "Life is short. Have an affair."
Schindler's 2012 complaint returned to Mecklenburg County Superior Court last week for a preliminary hearing. He accuses the company and the other man with working together to seduce Schindler's wife, ruining his 13-year marriage. According to the lawsuit, Schindler's wife began her affair in 2007 after meeting the man on AshleyMadison.com.
Schindler is seeking damages of more than $10,000 for alienation of affections and extramarital sex.
In 2011, a Wake County judge handed down the largest alienation award in North Carolina history - $30 million - after the former wife of a Raleigh business owner sued the current one.
While Ashley Madison allows its clients to communicate with each other, "we in no way participate in any 'offline' encounters," said Noel Biderman, who started Ashley Madison in 2002.
"I think it would be an incredibly slippery slope to attempt to espouse blame to all the technology and inanimate objects that were utilized in an affair," he told the newspaper.
Schindler's attorney, Chris Johnson of Wilmington, says Biderman's argument misses the point.
"You can use a car to drive to school. You can use a car to drive to work. You can also use a car to have an affair. But that's not the car's sole purpose," Johnson said.
"That's the difference in this website. It's very specific. It promotes affairs. Sadly, it's bad enough that it happened to Robert Schindler. But it happens to many others, too," Johnson said.