Tinder Founders’ Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss

Sean Rad’s lawsuit against Match Group and IAC has survived a motion to dismiss in a New York Supreme Court. Valued at $2 billion, the lawsuit claims that the online dating umbrella undervalued Tinder intentionally to avoid paying its founders sizeable stock options.

Judge Saliann Scarpulla also ruled that Rad, Gareth Johnson, Ryan Ogle and Paul Cafardo can seek punitive damages and benefits relating to the cancellation of future valuation events. Justin and Alexa Mateen, the brother and sister duo involved with Tinder in the early years, will not be eligible for this reimbursement, however, having left the company at a different time.

Certain claims against Match Group were dismissed, including “unjust enrichment” and “breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing”. A breach of contract claim concerning the Match-Tinder merger was also dismissed, though the rest of the claims were upheld.

Speaking to The Verge, Rad’s lawyer Orin Snyder said: “We are pleased by the Court’s ruling denying IAC/Match’s motion to dismiss and paving the way for this case to go to trial. IAC/Match robbed the Tinder founders and early employees and will now be held accountable by a jury for their multi-billion dollar scheme.”

Justine Sacco, a spokesperson for Match Group, also spoke to the publication: “This baseless lawsuit has no more merit today than it did a year ago when it was filed. We’re pleased the court dismissed some of these bogus claims and look forward to defeating the rest of them, both on appeal and in the trial court.”

Four other former employees, including Rosette Pambakian, were made to withdraw from the case after a forced arbitration contract clause came to light in late 2018.

In December, Western District of Texas Judge Alan Albright rejected Bumble’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit from Match Group. The intellectual property case claims Bumble’s interface was lifted from Tinder.

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