BenShot was started by a father-and-son team in 2015 on the grounds of an abandoned Thomas Edison furniture factory in Wisconsin. “We’re proud of what we do and we’re proud of where we do it,” BenShot co-founder Ben Wolfgram said. “It would be a lot cheaper – and easier – to have our glassware made in China, but that’s not what we’re about and it’s not what our customers want.”
In 2017, BenShot discovered that companies owned and operated by Douglas Ingalls were advertising their bullet glassware as being “Made in the USA.” BenShot filed suit against Ingalls and his companies, asserting claims for false designation of origin under the Federal Lanham Act and unfair competition under Wisconsin law.
“We’re fighting back against deceptive marketing and false ‘Made in USA’ claims,” Ben Wolfgram, co-founder and CEO of BenShot, said. “The lies uncovered in this lawsuit are disgusting. If a company makes their product overseas, that’s their choice. But, to make it overseas and then lie to their customers – active military, veterans, law enforcement officers – is completely unacceptable.”
How bad was it?
BenShot discovered many deceptive emails. In one email, Ingalls asked his supplier for photos of the glasses being made: "This is very important for our media/advertising. VERY important – do not show faces of workers or any words or writing in Chinese. We want our customers to think this product could be made in USA.”
What was the outcome?
On October 17, 2022, a jury found that the defendant companies, with Ingalls at the helm, had falsely advertised the geographic origin of their products. The jury awarded BenShot more than $3.15 million in damages, including punitive damages.
“For generations our parents and grandparents were proud of the things they made here in the USA," Wolfgram said. "We at BenShot will continue that tradition by making our goods here. I believe many Americans share our same values."
Official Court Transcripts are available here:
BenShot LLC v. 2 Monkey Trading LLC (1:18-cv-01716)