D.W. Hunter, the great grandson of the woman whose likeness became Aunt Jemima, has filed a $2 billion class action lawsuit against Quaker Oats, PepsiCo Inc., Pinnacle Foods and Hillshire Brands Co.
The suit was filed on behalf of all of Anna Short Harrington's great grandchildren.
They allege the companies withheld information that identified Ms. Harrington as both an employee of Quaker Oats and her likeness as the character. The Chicago Tribune reports the companies did not pay their share of royalties to Ms. Harrington or her family for more than 60 years.
According to Fox News, Aunt Jemima originally debuted in the late 1880s, but the character was not trademarked until 1937.
The self-rising pancake mix was invented in St. Joseph in 1889.