While searching for a picture of Aunt Jemima, I came across this story about two men suing Quaker Oats for $2 billion, for appropriating the likeness and secret recipe of their great-grandmother. While two billion dollars seems a tad high for such a crime, surely that pancake recipe must be worth something, right?, and if you don’t ask, the answer’s always no.
Sadly for the cause of justice, the answer was still no, even though they asked. Earlier this year, a judge tossed the case out of his courtroom, not even allowing the plaintiffs to place their claim before a jury.
Two men claiming to be relatives of Anna Short Harrington—the woman whose face and overall likeness was used to create the character and logo Aunt Jemima, the most iconic face in pancakes—had filed a class action lawsuit seeking $2 billion plus punitive damages.
Last week a judge tossed the case, noting that the two men—D.W. Hunter and Larnell Evans Jr., both of whom claimed to be Harrington’s great-grandsons—came to court with little more than a story about the woman and a photo that they now claim to be unable to find.
According to TMZ, “Hunter told the judge his grandmother once gave him a photo of Harrington—a photo he no longer has—and claimed that proved his relation.”
I really hope that for the sake of the legal profession’s reputation and good name (cough cough), this case was brought pro se, and not filed by anyone admitted to the bar.