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Lawsuit alleges Mattel reneged on promise to donate thousands and thousands to UCLA kids’s hospital

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Mattel, the toy firm that owns large franchises like Hot Wheels and Barbie, is going through a brand new lawsuit introduced by UCLA and its well being system, claiming the corporate did not make good on a pledge to donate $49 million to the college’s kids’s hospital.

The firm had pledged and accomplished massive donations to the UCLA kids’s hospital earlier than. Mattel shaped a partnership with the college in 1998 and, in alternate for the hospital bearing Mattel’s title per the phrases of an settlement, donated $25 million to the hospital over a time frame, in line with the grievance filed Nov. 19 in Los Angeles and obtained Wednesday by CBS News.

Mattel and UCLA entered into one other, comparable settlement in 2017, the lawsuit says. The toy firm pledged to donate $49 million to the kids’s hospital in installments over a 12-year interval, whereas the hospital rebranded so as to add Mattel’s title into its personal, which since then has been referred to as the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.

Along with the replace to its title, UCLA additionally started to include Mattel’s company brand into its signage. Both adjustments got here within the wake of, and hinged on, the corporate’s settlement “to present $50 million to The Regents, on behalf of UCLA Health, and the UCLA Foundation for the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital to broaden pediatric care and enhance look after, and the well being of, kids throughout the globe,” in line with the go well with.

But the grievance alleges that Mattel, citing monetary points, later walked again its pledge. Although UCLA Health at first agreed to droop the corporate’s funds quickly in 2018, the go well with additionally says Mattel by no means ended up giving the donations agreed upon in 2017 to the kids’s hospital — even after it reported a internet earnings of greater than $900 million in 2021, in line with UCLA Health, and income skyrocketed with the “Barbie” film’s record-breaking field workplace numbers earlier this 12 months.

People go into a frenzy of looking like a Barbie
A digital commercial board displaying a Barbie film poster is seen in New York City on July 24, 2023.

Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency through Getty Images


“Despite months of entreaties and various proposals, Mattel has refused to honor its promise, providing as a substitute to make an in-kind contribution (e.g., Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels) and small (by Mattel’s requirements and compared to its 2017 contractual pledge) financial donations somewhat than the contracted-for funds needed to supply care and superior medical analysis,” the lawsuit says.

The go well with is searching for the complete donation quantity from Mattel that the corporate initially pledged, accusing it of breaching their contract, plus extra damages decided throughout a trial.

“As a final resort, UCLA Health has taken authorized motion to compel Mattel, Inc. to honor its $49 million pledge beneath a 2017 contractual settlement,” mentioned a UCLA Health spokesperson in a press release to CBS News concerning the lawsuit. “Litigation shouldn’t be the University’s most popular path. UCLA Health made a number of good-faith makes an attempt to resolve this matter by way of significant dialogue, and people efforts had been unsuccessful.”

A spokesperson for Mattel mentioned in a press release to CBS News on Wednesday that the corporate “deeply values its longstanding relationship with UCLA Health” and references a clause within the 2017 settlement that apparently directed the entire multi-million greenback pledge towards the development of a brand new tower on the kids’s hospital and restricted its use in any other case.

“Our settlement expressly allocates funds for the brand new tower and offers that funding can’t be allotted for some other function by both social gathering alone,” the spokesperson mentioned within the assertion. “UCLA Health has unilaterally deserted its plans for the development of its new hospital tower. As a consequence, the situations for the pledge beneath the 2017 Agreement haven’t been met.”

“Mattel has continued to enthusiastically help UMCH’s ongoing actions together with fundraising, toy, money and in-kind donations, and group activations,” the assertion continued, including that supporting “present pediatric actions” on the hospital is vital to the corporate.

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