Ashley Madison tablet

Founded in 2002, Ashley Madison, the world's biggest online dating website for married men and women, has over 20 million users in 30 regions all over the world. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)

A dating website for married people seeking affairs is dismissing a $21-million lawsuit as nothing but a frivolous claim by an opportunistic ex-employee.

Ashley Madison has issued a statement condemning the suit filed by Doriana Silva, who alleges she permanently damaged her wrists typing up fake profiles of women for the site.

In the statement, the company says Silva is exaggerating her injuries in order to support demands for compensation that it says escalated over time.

Silva is seeking $20 million from Ashley Madison for what she calls the company's "unjust enrichment" at her expense, plus another $1 million in punitive and general damages.

In her statement of claim, Silva — a Brazilian immigrant living in Toronto — says she was hired to help launch a Portuguese-language version of the site and promised a starting salary of $34,000 plus benefits.

Silva says in her claim that she was asked to create 1,000 phoney profiles to lure men into signing up.

She says the "enormous amount" of typing strained her wrists but her complaints were ignored by the company.

Ashley Madison says its service is "100 per cent authentic" as described in its terms of use and it resents any implication otherwise.

The suit was filed last year but stalled while the company petitioned the court to strike references to "ethics" and "unethical practices" from the statement of claim.

But a Superior Court judge found the references necessary to describe "the factual context in which the injuries were sustained," a decision that was upheld on appeal this month.