Quaker Oats, parent company of PepsiCo and Pinnacle Foods, is being sued by the great grandsons of Anna S. Harrington for the amount of $2 billion. Plaintiffs, DW Hunter and Larnell Evans, allege that Quaker Oats saw Harrington making pancakes at the New York State Fair in 1935. Harrington became the personification of their Aunt Jemima brand products for more than 15 years.
Plaintiffs are suing for theft of royalties, fraud, and racial discrimination. The lawsuit alleges that Quaker used Harrington's pancake recipe and trademarked her image in 1937. The Plaintiffs further allege that Harrington was exploited and did not pay royalties to her estate after her death in 1955. Other allegations include conspiracy about her employment status and industrial espionage.
The great grandsons allege racial discrimination toward their deceased great grandmother because Aunt Jemima's image was "reflecting an innate form of disrespect toward African American people in general."
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