Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Mahfood: It was not about money - Wisynco withdraws legal action against HFJ

Published:Wednesday | May 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Gleaner Writer
William Mahfood

The Jamaican conglomerate Wisynco Group Limited has sought to make it clear that the legal action it filed against the Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ), which was withdrawn yesterday, was not for financial gain.

Wisynco had faced criticisms in Jamaica and across the Caribbean after The Gleaner first reported last week that it had taken the HFJ to court to stop the non-governmental organisation from repeating information posted on social media as part of its anti-obesity campaign 'Are You Drinking Yourself Sick?'

Wisynco Chairman William Mahfood said the decision to withdraw the legal action was taken after the HFJ acknowledged, in documents filed in the Supreme Court, that it "inadvertently and unintentionally" included the company's CranWATA beverage in the message that was posted on Instagram last month.

Further, Mahfood said that the HFJ indicated that it has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the post was no longer accessible on the Internet and that no other offending material related to the Cranwata beverage would be published.

"We were never seeking any financial compensation. All we wanted was for them to remove all discussions related to our brand and making people sick," he told The Gleaner yesterday, adding that Wisynco has offered to pay the legal fees incurred by the HFJ as a result of the court action.

Lawyers for both sides appeared in the Supreme Court yesterday when, according to Mahfood, his company accepted the sworn statement of the HFJ.

But in a press release last night, the HFJ maintained that, "At no time did it defame or otherwise disparage Wisynco or any of its products and, if given the opportunity, expected to demonstrate this to a judge in the Supreme Court."

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com