Bryan Ulmer of The Spence Law Firm is pursuing a claim against Scentsy, Inc., a global marketer of wickless candles and other products, for misappropriating the business concept of a family friend of its chief executive officer.
The lawsuit was filed last Wednesday in Ada County district court on behalf of Eva Marosvari, a former friend of Scentsy CEO R. Orville Thompson, his wife, Scentsy president Heidi Thompson, and Heidi Thompson’s mother Alice Kalilmoku.
According to the complaint, Scentsy solicited ideas for children’s products early in 2009. Ms. Marosvari – a friend of the Thompsons who was an independent direct sales consultant responsible for about 50 “downline” sellers – created a concept with 19 stuffed animals and an interactive children’s video game.
Encouraged by Scentsy management, Ms. Marosvari developed, designed and refined the children’s product line later marketed as “Scentsy Buddies” in 2010. The idea was an instant hit within Scentsy management. Even before product development was completed, Scentsy directors were informed that Ms. Marosvari was developing the company’s new children’s product line. In December 2009, the company informed her that the product line was proceeding with the “Scentsy spin.”
Within weeks, Scentsy management, including Mr. Thompson, allegedly began ignoring Ms. Marosvari’s attempts to finalize a business arrangement and compensation. In early 2010, company legal counsel advised Ms. Marosvari the company has a policy against “paying for ideas” and that she would not be compensated for the concept, according to the lawsuit. In July 2010, the company introduced the “Scentsy Buddies” product line.
Ms. Marosvari is represented by G. Bryan Ulmer, III and Elizabeth A. Richards, of The Spence Law Firm, LLC, of Jackson, Wyo., and Charles F. Peterson and Courtney Peterson, of Peterson Law Offices, of Boise, Idaho.
Bryan Ulmer, of The Spence Law Firm LLC, said, “Scentsy misled and then pushed aside Ms. Marosvari and went on to sell throughout the world the products she created. Within the company, the ‘Scentsy Buddies’ product line is known to have evolved from Eva’s concepts and hard work.”
Chuck Peterson, of Peterson Law Offices, said, “Ms. Marosvari trusted the ‘family’ culture promoted by the Thompson’s and Scentsy management. Eva is understandably disappointed by the company and feels betrayed by the Thompson’s who she trusted as friends and leaders of the Boise business community.”
The lawsuit accuses Scentsy of misappropriation of intellectual property, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and unjust enrichment, and seeks damages, court costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees. Ms. Marosvari’s lawyers have asked for a jury trial.
The case is “Eva Marosvari vs. Scentsy, Inc., et al.,” Case No. CV OC 1210673 in the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District in Ada County, Idaho.