Pinterest is now facing a lawsuit from a former friend of one of its founders who claims she was involved in the creation of the platform. According to Bloomberg, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Seabolt denied the company’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Thursday.
Christine Martinez, the plaintiff, claims that co-founder Ben Silbermann asked her to help revive the app. Among other things, the digital market strategist claims to have created features tied to Pinterest’s Boards and a marketing plan to enlist bloggers to promote the platform.
Martinez sued Pinterest in September, and Pinterest filed the motion to dismiss in December. Martinez’s claims, according to the company, are too old to be barred by the statute of limitations.
Martinez, according to Seabolt, “sufficiently alleges” that she and the Pinterest founders agreed to deferred compensation. Pinterest went public in 2019, which Seabolt called “transformative” and, in his opinion, cemented the company’s obligation to pay Martinez.
Pinterest’s chief communications officer LeMia Jenkins Thompson told Engadget that the court dismissed several of Martinez’s claims.
Thompson added, “as the facts emerge, we are confident that the evidence will confirm that Plaintiff’s claims are meritless and that the remainder of this baseless lawsuit should be dismissed.”
Martinez, according to the New York Times, was never formally employed by the San Francisco-based company and never signed a written contract with it. Martinez, on the other hand, claims that the agreement was implied based on her conversations with Sciarra and Silbermann.
Martinez, a former lifestyle blogger and the founder of an ecomerce startup, told the Times that she was eager to assist friends. “[…The co-founders of Pinterest] had no marketing background or expertise in creating a product for women.”