To Nataliya Derkach, he seemed a terrific catch: caring, financially secure and serious about family. The Ukrainian woman, who met James Fox through an international matchmaking agency, imagined her future unfolding happily on 40 acres in Loudoun County, reports the Washington Post. She and Fox married in November 1998, less than three months after they met.
By July 2000, she had moved into a shelter for battered women, she said. A federal jury in Baltimore awarded her as much as $434,000 yesterday, returning a highly unusual verdict against the Internet matchmaking agency that introduced her to James Fox. Both sides said there were few if any precedents for the case. Nataliya Fox, 33, had sued the Bethesda-based company, Encounters International, for failing to screen its male clients and failing to tell her about the so-called battered spouse waiver, a provision in immigration law intended to help foreign nationals escape abusive relationships without fear of automatic deportation.