Aunt Jemima Heirs’ $3 Billion Lawsuit Against Pepsi, Quaker Oats Dismissed

The lawsuit brought against PepsiCo and the Quaker Oats Company by D.W. Hunter and Larnell Evans, Jr. has been dismissed in a Chicago court.

The two men claiming to be the great-grandsons of Anna Short Harrington, who portrayed syrup and pancake figurehead Aunt Jemima, will receive no unpaid royalties to which they've asserted their rights.

The suit brought in August, claimed that the defendants had failed to pay royalties to Harrington’s estate and stole Harrington’s pancake formula in an act of “industrial espionage.”

The pair had sought a total of $3 billion, with $1 billion of that in equity stocks.

U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang Wednesday in Chicago handed down the order and granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, which contended that Hunter and Evans had failed to state a claim.

“Plaintiffs do not allege that they are authorized to act as executors or administrators of Harrington’s estate, or even that such an estate exists (or ever existed),” Chang wrote. “The only information about Plaintiffs’ connection to Harrington provided by the amended complaint is an account of how Hunter received a photograph (now lost) of Harrington from his grandmother and of Plaintiffs’ attempt to locate Harrington’s grave in Syracuse, New York.”

In short, the pair could not verify that they are, indeed, descendants of Harrington.

Learn more about the origins of the lawsuit here.

Photo Credit: iofoto /

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