Pinterest has to now deal with a lawsuit from a former friend of one of its founders who claims that she helped create the platform. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Seabolt on Thursday denied the company’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Christine Martinez, the plaintiff, claims she was asked by co-founder Ben Silbermann to help revive the app. The digital market strategist claims to have developed features tied to Pinterest’s Boards and created a marketing plan to enlist bloggers to promote the platform, as well as other contributions.
Martinez filed a lawsuit against the company back in September, and Pinterest filed the motion to dismiss in December. The company thinks that Martinez’s claims are too old to fit within the statute of limitations. Seabolt disagreed however and said Martinez “sufficiently alleges” that she and the Pinterest founders agreed to deferred compensation. Pinterest went public in 2019, and Seabolt called this event “transformative” and in his view, this sealed the company’s obligation to pay Martinez.
Pinterest’s chief communications officer LeMia Jenkins Thompson said that the court dismissed several of Martinez’s claims. And that, “as the facts come out, we are confident the evidence will confirm that Plaintiff’s claims are meritless and that the rest of this baseless lawsuit should be dismissed.”
However, the New York Times said that Martinez was never formally employed at nor did she ever sign a written contract with the San Francisco-based company. But Martinez argues that the agreement was implied, based on her discussions with Sciarra and Silbermann. It is a complex claim to be sure.
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