District Judge Dismisses FireClean Lawsuit Against Bloggers

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fireclean sues bloggers

Last week, a district judge dismissed FireClean’s lawsuit — Fireclean v. Tuohy — against a pair of bloggers on jurisdictional grounds.

You’ll recall that FireClean sued Andrew Tuohy of the Vuurwapen Blog and Everett Baker for Granite State Guns after the two men published analyses of the company’s lubricant showing that it had similar properties to refined vegetable oils.

Tuohy, the first to conduct an experiment and publish the findings, tested the lubricant with the help of a doctor of organic chemistry at the University of Arizona.  Together, the men conducted an infrared spectroscopy test with FireClean and Crisco Pure Vegetable oil and Crisco Pure Canola, concluding that, “FireClean is probably a modern unsaturated vegetable oil virtually the same as many oils used for cooking.”

Following Tuohy’s test, Baker, a student at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, conducted his own tests using infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  His testing yielded a similar finding.

“According to multiple tests and after analysis by several different chemists, FireClean is pure and unmodified canola oil,” wrote Baker in his report.

The results and subsequent publication of these tests negatively impacted sales at FireClean.  According to its complaint, “revenues have fallen by over $25,000 per month since Tuohy’s first tortious act.”  Back in April, FireClean sued the two for damages.

SEE ALSO: TANNERITE FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST NBC FOR LIBEL, SLANDER

FireClean has maintained that the testing is misleading in that it puts the focus on the composition of the lubricant — and not its actual performance.

“We would like to address recent false or misleading allegations that range from simply misguided to false, defamatory, and libelous,” said the company on Facebook. “These attacks have been made by competitors and others that paint our product in a false or misleading light. The allegations do not focus on actual performance or relevant tests, and draw a misleading picture.”

In dismissing the case, United States District Court Judge James C. Cacheris shot down the argument made by FireClean that the two men were publishing these tests simply as a way to attract more readers to their blogs:

Plaintiff’s theory is that Baker and Tuohy conspired to publish a test that would show FIREClean is the same as Crisco or canola oil, even though they knew the test was inadequate to reach that conclusion, so as to attract more viewers to their blogs. Although such a conspiracy is logically possible, it is not plausible based on the facts in this record. The foundation of Plaintiff’s theory is that a critical review of FIREClean would attract more readers to the blogs. Criticisms of FIREClean being Crisco, however, were already commonplace online due to earlier published statements in the Vuurwapen blog, the Firearm blog, and George Fennell’s publications, among others. The Court finds no reason to conclude that an article affirming the prior tests would attract more readers than results disputing the prior test results.

Furthermore, the record is replete with facts providing non-conspiratorial explanations for why Baker chose the Infrared Spectroscopy and NMR Spectroscopy to analyze FIREClean, including the advice of his professors, his personal research on the best testing methods, his available equipment, and the methods that two individuals with doctorates in chemistry used to test FIREClean. In sum, it does not plausibly or fairly follow from the facts alleged that Baker and Tuohy had a preconceived plan to conduct a fraudulent test so as attract more readers to their blogs by declaring FIREclean to be Crisco.

As it relates to the judge’s decision, FireClean said on Facebook, “We are disappointed at the Dismissal on Personal Jurisdiction- we are not shocked but strongly disagree. ‘Without Prejudice’ means that we can and will continue the pursuit of justice.”

As it relates to most gun owners, the issue here is not the performance of FireClean.  As Tuohy said himself, “I have zero complaints.” Rather the issue appears to be the high cost of FireClean compared to other popular oils and lubricants on the market.  With that in mind, where do you stand?

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Gary October 22, 2016, 2:02 pm

    If you start out to “con” someone, or group of people, the first rule of thumb is to NEVER fold under pressure!!
    They did when they sued these guys for printing their opinion, especially when they could back it up.
    So what if their sales fell $25k per month? If your still making $50k selling veggie oil for exorbitant prices, just shut up and keep shipping until EVERYONE catches on!! Morons!!
    To bad you can’t bring suit against people for being stupid!! A very FEW would be VERY rich. You KNOW who you are! And if you DONT, then like I said, just be glad we can’t bring suit against YOU! (Laugh)

  • Beachhawk July 30, 2016, 12:32 pm

    Sounds like FireCLEAN got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Maybe they’ll try extra virgin olive oil next; it may not improve your firearms, but at least you’ll be able to put it on your salad with a little vinegar.

  • Rayray July 29, 2016, 6:04 pm

    If you sell something for a dollar that cost you 5 cents to make you are an evil gouging lickspittle filthy capitalist pig, if you sell something for 5 cents that cost you 10 cents you are a saint… That is the talk of the looter and the moocher. Slaves to their government, regurgitating what they have been led to believe. Who cares what it is, chemically, if it does the job and the marketing is good enough to get it sold, good for them, making a product and selling it at a profit. the manufacturer that sells for less than the market will bear is an idiot and soon to fail. I buy plenty of small batch whiskey at 5 to 10 times the cost of Rebel Yell; they are chemically similar (some even taste the same, ouch) and they achieve the same results…

  • KCSHOOTER July 29, 2016, 4:02 pm

    Of course it was dismissed. There was never a question. The shysters at fireclean sold canola oil for over $10 an ounce, got called out on being nothing but sneaky lying bastards, then tried to sue Tuohy for stating the truth. So it basically got dismissed for being foolish.
    This is what happens when you try to rip people off. And I’ll never trust Larry Vicers again, he was right in line, lying right along with these asshats.

  • Joe July 29, 2016, 2:29 pm

    If you use vegetable oil on an iron skillet, put it away for a while and see how sticky that coating becomes.
    I wouldn’t put that on a gun for anything.

  • Charles July 29, 2016, 12:39 pm

    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a frequently referenced part of William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her rival’s house of Montague, that is, that he is named “Montague.” The reference is often used to imply that the names of things do not affect what they really are.

  • Magic Rooster July 29, 2016, 6:55 am

    If you have ever “seasoned” a piece of cast iron, ie. a frying pan or muffin pan, you know the benefits. With proper “seasoning” you can cook food without fear of it sticking to the pan(s). I tried a greenish goo with a “minty fragrance” and found that unless you followed the same regimen, (heating the barrel) you ended up with “a greenish goo” that served as a dust magnet. I discarded the unused portion and went back to using the smelly old lubricant that had worked for years. The theory sounds good, (the part about a “barrier” that residue won’t stick to) but ANY build up on the working parts is sure to affect accuracy.
    Snake oil is what it is, and the only reptile involved is the one selling it.

  • donnieC July 29, 2016, 4:37 am

    Wow. Will we be seeing Crisco branded gun oil in the near future? Inquiring minds and all that.

  • Will Drider July 28, 2016, 9:48 pm

    Don’t be scared, you can post about vegetable and canola oils! I read the Patent a few months ago, Case closed. If you like Doctor Feelgood’s Firearm Elixi, use it. Just don’t stand next to me on the range doing mag dumps and smelling like burnt KFC.

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