Jenner & Block

Firm Wins Dismissal of Royalty Suit Against PepsiCo

Jenner & Block won a victory for client PepsiCo Inc. when a judge dismissed a $3 billion royalty suit filed by relatives of the actress who played Aunt Jemima.  The great-grandchildren sued PepsiCo and subsidiary The Quaker Oats Co. for using Anna S. Harrington’s likeness in advertisements and logos and claimed that racial discrimination played a role in Quaker’s decision not to pay her or her estate a percentage of sales for Aunt Jemima products.  On February 18, 2015, an Illinois federal judge ruled that that the plaintiffs lacked standing and did not have authority to bring the suit.  The team representing PepsiCo included Partner Dean N. Panos and Associate Jason M. BradfordLaw360 reported on the dismissal and named the case outcome a weekly “Legal Lion.”