Tags: aunt jemima | lawsuit | pancakes

Aunt Jemima Lawsuit: Heirs Want $2 Billion Plus a Cut of Future Profits

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 07:09 AM

An Aunt Jemima lawsuit claims that the heirs of the women who appeared on the iconic pancake boxes deserve $2 billion and a cut of future profits because their relatives' likenesses were used with a false promise of compensation.

The great-grandsons of Anna S. Harrington, who helped formulate the Aunt Jemima recipe, and some of the descendants of Nancy Green, who originally appeared on the box, banded together to file the federal lawsuit in August in Chicago, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The suit charges that Quaker Oats, now a subsidiary of PepsiCo, and other owners of the Aunt Jemima brand "made false promises to Nancy Green . . . and Anna Harrington," which stated that every time their "name, voice, or likeness was used in connection with the products or goods, [the ladies] would receive a percentage of the monies or royalties."

But Quaker Oats, in a September response, insists that Aunt Jemima was never a real person, according to The Courier-Journal.

"The image symbolizes a sense of caring, warmth, hospitality, and comfort, and is neither based on, nor meant to depict any one person," the company said in a statement. "While we cannot discuss the details of pending litigation, we do not believe there is any merit to this lawsuit."

The Chicago Tribune reported in August that PepsiCo Inc., Pinnacle Foods, and Hillshire Brands Co. were all named as defendants in the lawsuit, which conceded that, while there were never any Quaker Oats employment records for Harrington, her image was included in an Aunt Jemima filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Quaker Oats is also accused of seeking out Harrington's youngest daughter, Olivia Hunter, in 1989 and using her likeness to update the look of Aunt Jemima in the image that it still used today.

D.W. Hunter, the great grandson of Harrington who helped file the lawsuit and now lives in Minneapolis, told The Courier-Journal he plans to help black farmers in Africa and Brazil if his family prevails in the lawsuit.

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An Aunt Jemima lawsuit claims that the heirs of the women who appeared on the iconic pancake boxes deserve $2 billion and a cut of future profits because their relatives' likenesses were used with a false promise of compensation.
aunt jemima, lawsuit, pancakes
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2014-09-08
Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 07:09 AM
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