Friday, February 16, 2001

Court reopens P&G's lawsuit against Amway

        A Procter & Gamble lawsuit charging that Amway Corp. employees spread false rumors linking the Cincinnati-based household-goods maker to Satanic cults must be reopened, a U.S. appeals court has ruled.

        The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday ordered a trial judge in Houston, who dismissed the case in 1999, to re-examine P&G's claims.

        “We are delighted the (appeals court) has found in favor of Procter & Gamble ... and returned this case for trial,” Jim Johnson, P&G's chief legal officer, said.

        The lawsuit, filed in 1995, was thrown out because the trial judge ruled the rumors were not defamatory and P&G had not made a case for specific damages.

        The lawsuit accuses Amway distributors of using the company's voice mail system to disseminate false rumors that P&G was associated with the Church of Satan.

        P&G claims Amway spread the lie — a spinoff of the long-standing rumor that P&G's logo is a symbol of Satan — to get people to buy Amway products instead of P&G's.

        Amway has denied the claims.

 — Randy Tucker


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