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Fireclean LLC Sues Andrew Tuohy and Everett Baker for Defamation in Federal Court

Last September, social media was ablaze with multiple versions of a common theme, “Fireclean lubricant is Crisco”. The source of this buzz was an article on Vuurwapen blog by Andrew Tuohy, entitled “INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY OF FIRECLEAN AND CRISCO OILS” where he claimed to have had samples of Fireclean tested in order to determine if it was Crisco. At the time of the article, I was publicly critical of Tuohy’s methodology, relying on anonymous sources for lab tests. 

 

The content was so popular it even spawned a second round of articles by Tuohy as well as blogger Everett Baker who claims to have conducted testing of his own that verified Tuohy’s assertions. To double down, Tuohy wrote an article where he claimed that a demonstration video of Fireclean by tactical trainer Larry Vickers was fraudulent. Interestingly, Tuohy initially published this article as “WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S LIAR” but later changed it to “SEVERE PROBLEMS WITH VICKERS TACTICAL FIRECLEAN VIDEO”.

At the time, lots of people were quite entertained by the shenanigans. But not everyone was laughing. While most have moved on from the incident, Fireclean has not. In fact, last week they filed the first, in what we understand will be series of federal lawsuits, against Andrew Tuohy and Everett Baker. Suits against others are said to follow. According to this suit, Fireclean has suffered losses of $25,000 per month in sales since the round of articles. Seeing how they are in Northern Virginia, Fireclean has turned to Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the original ‘Rocket Docket’, for relief. Andrew Tuohy hails from Arizona and Everett Baker is from New Hampshire, according to his blog but Fireclean makes their case early on in the suit for a Virginia venue.

At the heart of this issue is whether the bloggers’ posts are protected by the First Amendment or if their actions were intentionally misleading. Fireclean alleges multiple counts of defamation against Tuohy and a single count against Baker as well as violation of the Virginia Business Conspiracy Act and Common Law Conspiracy. They are demanding a jury trial and compensatory damages, presumed damages for defamation, punitive damages in addition to court costs and attorney’s fees.

You can read the entire, 209 page suit here: Fireclean LLC v Tuohy and Baker. It’s quite extensive and in the document you can see that Fireclean does exactly what Tuohy and Baker didn’t, which was use a well known laboratory to analyze the product. Rather than rely on anonymous testing or tests performed by a college student, Fireclean obtained the services of Petro-Lubricant Testing Laboratories. Their testing is part of the suit, in exhibit R.

Whichever way this suit goes, it is one to watch because it is not only an attempt to hold firearms bloggers responsible for their content, but that it could have far reaching effects for blogging writ large as well as other social media content.

In closing, I would like to disclose that Vickers Tactical, who is not a party to this suit, but is mentioned, is an advertiser on SSD. While, Larry Vickers has endorsed Fireclean in the past, Fireclean is in no way associated with SSD.

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127 Responses to “Fireclean LLC Sues Andrew Tuohy and Everett Baker for Defamation in Federal Court”

  1. Disappointed with this turn of events. I probably wont use Fireclean in the future.

    • IW says:

      Because they stood up for their product?

      • john says:

        a law suit sint standing up for their product….standing up for their product would be them having a way to sciendtifically refute the labs which the author had sent his samples to…they are just nutt hurt cause they got called on this inferior product in a review that went a step further than most by having it really broken down in a lab.

        • Dillon says:

          They did scientifically refute the bloggers claim, they had it tested in a certified laboratory and published the findings in the suit. The blogger wont even name the “source” that tested it for him.

      • matt says:

        No, because they used an underhanded way to deal with a problem. Tuohy via testing is still probably protected by anti-SLAPP laws.

        • 18Derp says:

          The issue is not with Tuhoy’s testing. It’s with his claiming that FC was overpriced and unmodified canola oil. He claimed it was exact and then shamed the company – If they can prove it’s not “just” canola oil, they pretty much have him on that.

          I like the guy, but he opened his mouth a little too far I think. Even still, FC is not making a frivolous lawsuit, right or wrong outcome, they have a right to sue.

        • Actually says:

          This isn’t protected.

    • Like's to shoot says:

      So they stand up for themselves and there prouduct
      And you won’t use it cause they are going after and Internet
      Blogger

      Your an idiot

    • Haji says:

      That makes as much sense as saying “Disappointed with this turn of events. I probably wont read posts by Tactical Virgil in the future.”

    • the teller says:

      if you haven’t used it by now, chances are you weren’t, dumbass

    • Gun Guys Everywhere says:

      I think your confused @tactical Virgil. People need to be accountable for their actions. A lot of these bloggers etc are out here guessing and surmising, but have no factual data to support their assertions. Fireclean is a business with families and mouths to feed. Erroneously hurting their bottom line should cost you! PERIOD! This should not be tolerated at any level. Having a pissing match like you proposed would still leave people split, this is absolute!

      • Non-Military, Non-Anything says:

        Seriously, they are “a business with families and mouths to feed” is being used as a justification to sue someone who questioned the uniqueness of their product?

        Lots of poor snake-oil salesmen also had mouths to feed. That argument is nil. C’mon, poor Afghanis also had mouths to feed and took Taliban money to shoot at us.

  2. Guy says:

    Hold on, getting my popcorn ready.

  3. Joe says:

    I am not surprised at all by this, but I am surprised it took them this long to go to court. My feelings on this that, if you are going to make a claim about a product back it up. Use repeatable scientific methods and not some “anonymous” source, verify the info before posting info like that. I’ve spent 17 years in the military (Army and Air Force), and I’ve learned to double check all info and Pre-combat inspections. I’ve learned (the hard way) unverified single source info can be dangerous.

    • Haji says:

      Actual lab testing takes a while to get done, as well as all the filings required to sue with the expectation of winning the case. Being careful and meticulous takes time.

      • Joe says:

        I am in total agreement that court filings and certified lab testing takes time. Tuohy should have gone a different route, but when you want to make a jackhole of yourself then that’s how you make a jackhole of yourself.

  4. Mike says:

    Touhy is going to get what he deserves. He’s been trying to become a big name in the “tactical industry” for a while and seems to have it out for several companies. I guess that’s what happens when you’re all but fired from TangoDown and can’t get a job anyplace else.

    • Totally agree, and hopefully this tempers everyone else who posts dumb shit without vetting it first.

      • txJM says:

        Yay for censorship?

        • CuDa says:

          I guess you don’t understand the difference between censorship and slander, which just makes you a little pussy troll! Without data to back up the claim made by Touhy the article should have never been posted making it a hack job, using an autonomous tested is just a load of crap meaning either no test was done, it wasn’t scientific thus not repeatable making him without proof of his claim! It you support that kind of blog txJM then you should help him pay the settlement for your stupidity!

          • txJM says:

            Wow. It’s 2016 and English-speaking adults still don’t know the difference between slander and libel…

            Regardless of your ineptitude, I’ll respond: Tuohy claims that FireClean threatened a lawsuit before he even published. That is censorship, even if his posts turn out to be libellous.

    • 18Derp says:

      Ha!

      If you knew the guy you would know he is not at all trying to be a big name. He’s trying to be a troll.

      He’s a smart guy. In fact, I’ve rarely met people as naturally sharp as he is. But, he’s a flake, he’ll promise something and not deliver. We’re all on the spectrum, he may be a little further along than others. In the absolutely nicest way I can think of to say so, he may have very high functioning asbergers. I really think empathy with other people is his weakest quality – but – if I were to be stuck in an emergency situation I’d want it to be with him.

      That said, he isn’t trying to gain influence in a way like Vickers or Yeager or any “name” you can think of. He wants to prove how much smarter he is than everyone else. He is smarter than most, but he also doesn’t know when to “just be normal”. His true interest isn’t even with guns.

      Right now, he’s just a college student who has a different expensive hobby, and I have a feeling FireClean is going to take a big chunk of his current life. I don’t know…. Don’t start shit and there won’t be shit… You know?

      • Jthr says:

        I’ve met him once, and have interacted with people who have worked closely with him in the past. From what I understand, he’s got a genius level IQ and graduated with his first degree well before he left his teens. You can see from his writing that he has a sharp, analytical mind, with a solid grasp of writing.

        He’s also an ass. The kind of person who would join MENSA, and the incessantly remind everyone around them that they are a “Certified” genius. Like you said, he has a constant need to remind everyone he’s the smartest person in the room, and loves to stir up shit. Like many bullies, however, when people oppose him directly, he melts.

        As far as him being a college student…he’s older than he looks.

        • 18Derp says:

          As for being older than he looks, I promises you he’s in college now. Or was as of last year. There is no age limit you know.

          He is kind of an ass. But I still respect certain qualities. It sounds like we’re definitely talking about the same person anyhow 😀

          Not sure he has much of a leg to stand on here. And kinda still sticking with Asperger, it would explain a lot.

          • Jian Hong says:

            I used to actually like Tuohy when he first launched his blog, definitely a smart guy. However I started to lose respect for him over time the more I saw his “I’m intellectually superior to you” attitude come out. I hope he loses mainly so his arrogant ass can learn some humility.

      • Diddler says:

        Until the last paragraph I thought you were describing Mr. Fireclean. When we told him his lube gummed up guns in the vault and stopped working in the cold-everything lubed in accordance with his instructions-he called us liars and said he would teach us how to lube guns.

        • FrontDeskFocus says:

          How can they quantify lost sales due to an article, as opposed to lost sales due to their product being shit?

      • Ken says:

        Expecting people to know what they are talking about when they step up to write and publish an article is not censorship. Blogging is a form of journalism and this guy’s blogs on FC put him in the same category as Brian Wliams.

    • Jens Klingshirn says:

      Thanks Mike, well put. I can attest to what you said. My company was hurt by one of his blogs as well. I just didn’t have the recourses to to what Fire Clean did. I responded to that particular blog but of course never heard back from him. Hope he get’s his ass handed to him.

  5. james says:

    pretty bad when your product can not stand up on its own merit and you have to sue somebody. Cry babies

    • TominVA says:

      I have a feeling comments like that will support Fireclean’s case and rightly so.

      First amendment does not allow us to say absolutely anything we want. If Fireclean can establish that Touhy’s claims are false (sure sounds like it) and that Fireclean did lose revenue, then the jury should rule in their favor.

      • SVGC says:

        If it’s a false claim and a company is losing $25,000 a month in revenue as a direct result why in the hell wouldn’t they pursue? Imagine yourself as an employee at Fireclean and your lively hood, and that of your company’s, is being threatened by a claim you know to be false. It’s easy to say let the best man or *rumor* win when it doesn’t affect you or you don’t have to be responsible for employees. I do think this is a complicated situation to dive into but this specifically doesn’t surprise me all too much. If there are clear facts, they will now be presented.

      • Adam says:

        Technically, this isn’t a first amendment case, it’s a civil suit. The government isn’t censoring anything here, it’s one company seeking damages from another.

        • T says:

          This is wrong. The first amendment constrains all government action. The courts cannot enforce an order in violation of the first amendment regardless if who the issues are.

          • Eric B says:

            Not so simple as that T. In general, slander and libel are not covered by the First Amendment and such statements CAN be restrained, thus the lawsuit. But even that is a simplistic statement. Defamation cases are VERY complicated.

            If Fireclean has reproducible scientific evidence regarding the contents of their product (one would assume they do) and the blogger merely has an anonymous source who does not come forth, then the case swings almost completely to the side of Fireclean. Opinion isn’t the issue here, nor his right to speak his mind. But if the information he is putting forth is inaccurate on its face and causes harm (loss of revenue), then his speech is NOT protected.

            “Libel: to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others…Publication need only be to one person, but it must be a statement which claims to be fact and is not clearly identified as an opinion.”

            So, the lawsuit will probably initially focus on the accuracy of the “anonymous” testing as compared to the manufacturer’s assertion of the product contents, and then move on to the blog and any tendency it had to bring ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others.

            If the “anonymous” source is right, then the statements are not UNTRUE and the blog is not libel. Conversely, if they are wrong, the libel claim stands and the speech must be halted/erased/whatever and Fireclean will win the argument. This is why civil courts exist

            • Rob says:

              Even that is not quite right. Touhy’s blog is “an opinion based on disclosed facts”. He provided all sorts of colored graphs, described how they were obtained (even if he did not name the person who did the testing), and stated his interpretations of the results. Courts have generally judged that sort of speech as nondefamatory. Fireclean might argue that the facts themselves were false and defamatory, but the burden is much higher to meet.

              • Actually says:

                The names and locations where his testing was conducted will be disclosed during the discovery phase of this case along with all of Tuohy and Baker’s communications. They will be picked apart and used in the case. Expert witnesses will work to discredit those who conducted the testing.

    • SN says:

      How does the average person know what the formulation is?

      This individual stated that Fireclean was Crisco oil, implying that I can buy a bottle of Crisco Oil at 7-11 and get the same protection.

      We also don’t know if they tried to work with the blogger to get a retraction or chance to respond.

      If someone posted negative comments about you would you shrug your shoulders or try to defend yourself? I’d vigorously defend myself and go to court if that’s what it took; most people are the same way and Fireclean shouldn’t be criticized for protection their name brand.

      • 18Derp says:

        “This individual stated that Fireclean was Crisco oil, implying that I can buy a bottle of Crisco Oil at 7-11 and get the same protection.”

        You’re exactly right. That was the mess up. If he had said “look I had a college test FireClean and it looks to me like Crisco” and then had shut up, there would have been no issue.

        But he pushed it. He wanted to really rub it in – not that FireClean was crisco – that the entire shooting industry and consumers were dumber than him. That he alone saw through it and everyone had to know.

        I admire Andrew’s abilities to observe and make succinct points, but I think he messed up pretty badly here.

        • Andrew Graves says:

          Tuohy never said that Fireclean was Crisco. He used other pretty precise verbiage. He also never said it was canola oil. If you read the actual document, which I have, it appears to this lay observer that Fireclean has no Prima Facie case. If Tuohy made a mistake, it was later on in the continuum. He may have said some things that were not directly supportable. All his other assertions were couched in terms of probability and similarity.

          What’s going to be hilarious is all the people who will be butthurt if Tuohy wins his case, because they didn’t read the actual documents in question.

          Also hilarious is how Fireclean tries to pin statements by TFB that appear to be unsupportable on Tuohy. They should have just sued Fireclean, it would have been easier and simpler.

    • Dingus says:

      Seriously? This is all you can muster? If my product were bashed and some jackwagon says it is crap and claims it is another product when it isn’t and it causes me to lose business I will also sue the piss out of that person. Two reasons: First, to make them pay for the lost revenue and other expenses incurred over the entire deal and second: In a law suit it will be public, it will be followed and the proof of the products claim will be clearly shown to all parties that it is what it is advertised as being so there is NO doubt.

      So being a smart person they are sueing for many reasons and in a court of law you have a forum that speaks loudly and since it isn’t on some asshats blog it is more true than a paragraph written by a childish twit no matter his IQ.

      And since you haven’t figured out why one would sue in this case then you obviously seem to appear a little on the slow side of the curve.

      Court cases like this happen every day for the exact same reason. The man is defending his product and his reputation. If suing someone for that is wrong then you are in the wrong country.

      All of the people claiming they are not defending their product by this court case are just not seeing the big picture. The money isn’t the primary reason. Just a little icing. The cash award is just a “right now” solution. The reputation is the long term solution which is what any smart business person would do.

  6. Ron says:

    I don’t have a dog in this fight but I do agree that any company has the right to defend itself from the 10K or more bloggers in the world. 99.99% of them have zero actual contact with the industry they are trying to be a part. Same can be said for many Forums and cliques within certain forums, FB groups, etc. Since they don’t really have much to say they go ugly and even vengeful for effect. Nice informational posts don’t grab headlines, likes, shares, or FB friends. Some of these stories/posts are actually very harmful to the industry. While they pretend to be playing Robin Hood they really don’t seem to care about the public, truth, or the health of the industry. My hat’s off the FIREClean for being the 1st I have seen to take them on and maybe make someone accountable for their actions.

  7. James in AZ says:

    Marketing stunt to restore reputation? Or are they really serious about the lawsuit?

    Dunno

    Moves on

    • 18Derp says:

      I think not only are they serious but they are going to (right or wrong) drag him through every bit of it. This is going to be a precident case for this industry vs bloggers.

    • SSD says:

      One doesn’t file a case in that court as a “marketing stunt”.

      • STDS says:

        This court case will not help their brand. I also doubt that Touhy has the same financial means to defend himself or that he has the assets to pay Fire Clean for alleged damages. And the bigger question that was raised in this article is: if anyone of the above or below commenters could now be taken to court for stating opinions or personal experience (scientific or non-scientific tests or usage) with a product… Are we all now open game?

        • SSD says:

          That is an interesting question.

          • James in AZ says:

            I’d say if what you and i say here actually constitutes defamation then yes. But after a cost/benefit analysis most companies have better things to do to make money than suing somebody on a forum board.

        • Looking at youtube there’s a lot of bloggers they’ll need to file a lawsuit against to get this Crisco thing to disappear.

      • James in AZ says:

        Maybe that’s why people will believe said stunt?

        Is there a cheap and easy way for the plaintiff to quietly back off and dismiss the suit? Not a lawyer

        • Actually says:

          Looking at what is going on from the outside it’s a pretty good bet that they don’t want to settle this out of court. Tuohy came at them pretty hard on his blog as well as Facebook.

  8. Harm Uden says:

    I predict Fireclean will lose. I saw no difference in what Touhy did in comparison to what your local reporter does to dishonest companies that rip locals off. I just wish more companies were called out.

    • Steve B says:

      You may want to take a look at the court filing. There are numerous instances of Touhy departing from generally accepted journalistic practice. The independent lab analysis calls into question some of his key assertions as well. I hope he has some deep pockets – he is going to need them.

      • 18Derp says:

        I agree. He had a fun-time project, and that was fine. All up until he said the product was a fraud. He could have presented his college lab results and just let people make their own assertions. Citing everything with “I’m not a scientist, but it seems to me” which is fully protected speech.

        I think the issue here, is he used his popular soapbox to make a series of statements he didn’t NEED to. Instead of leaving the idea out there, he rubbed it in their faces. Now they’re going to try and burn him on those claims and tear apart his fun-time with their real laboratory testing.

      • txJM says:

        How funny that an expert in journalism can’t spell the name of his mark. It’s “Tuohy”.

        • Harm Uden says:

          Oh, shit you got me. I better run before you try more red herring insults as a distraction from the real issue in this blog article.

          I wonder which one of you is a troll working for Fireclean?

          • txJM says:

            I hope Tuohy successfully defends himself. But, really, you ought to brush up on your research before climbing the soapbox. For next time.

    • Scot says:

      This right here is the exact point. Touhy made claims of FACTS, without any sold basis, yet lots of people took it as gospel. A report generated by an anonymous person is not a solid basis. A report from an accredited lab is, which Fireclean apparently has. If Touhy had provided a report from an accredited lab, your arguement would have some truth, and the lab would be on the hook to prove their testing and methodology. Why do you think it was done anonymously? At this point, the damage is done. Fireclean will forever be Crisco for many despite any evidence presented pro or con. Because they read it on the internet it must be true. For whatever reason lots of folks prefer a conspiracy to actual truth. However, in this case peoples livelyhood are being impacted, and as a result the truth will come out. Folks will have an answer one way or the other and stupid will hurt, only time will tell if Touhy or Fireclean is the stupid one. I will say his anonymous college buddy, if he is a student, should think hard about switching majors. None of the labs I work with or have worked with will hire him if there is a hint of a scandal. They can’t afford it if they are ever on the stand or during their accredidation review.

    • Jambo says:

      Even if he is wrong. The fact that he genuinely believed his statements were correct and didn’t write the article maliciously, or at least that we know of, will mean that FireClean will lose.

      These cases are hard to win. FireClean will need to provide evidence that the statements are incorrect or misleading, and that Andrew knew this from the start. Now, I am not a lawyer, but this seems to be my understanding of the current law.

      • 18Derp says:

        “didn’t write the article maliciously”… I don’t know man, I think that will be a very easy one for FC to assert. Every single facebook and website comment is now fair game. And I’m sure Tuhoy made plenty that he thought at the time were clever jokes.

        You’re also over thinking this. FireClean doesn’t need to win. They just need to outlast him, and I think that will be easy to do. I hope he filed Vuurwapen as an actual LLC.

        Fireclean will likely settle, maybe that will include a public apology, a proportionally large amount of money from Tuohy, and Fireclean will use “LAB PROVEN UNIQUE FORMULA” in all of their marketing, they may even coincide this all with an improved version they discovered while fighting off libel claims, bla bla bla.

        There is I think no scenario where even if Tuohy wins, he doesn’t also lose. I’m not jealous of his position.

  9. John says:

    It’s very simple. If the bloggers tests were accurate, they will hold up in court. All Fireclean has to do is produce accurate results that contradict the bloggers claims. Worst case, someone is lying. Best case, the data is inconclusive .

  10. Odie says:

    My gut feeling is that if your company can have its cages rattled by a blogger, there is something wrong with your foundation. If they lose this case, they lost it by responding to the claims laid out by vuurwapenblog. There is no way that they can isolate his actions from their own and their effects on sales. If they didn’t say anything on facebook or release a statement or get into bickering with customers and their sales suffered, they have a leg to stand on. But, their actions are just as in play as Vuurwapen’s is.

    Also, I find it curious that SSD is leaning towards Fireclean on this, seeing as they have been accused of character assassination recently. Yet, they continue to stir the pot they may be put into next.

    • TominVA says:

      I dunno. If Fireclean can show consistent revenues over a period and than a sudden drop about the time Touhy did his thing, I think that would be compelling – along with solid lab results.

      Hmmmm, but, if Fireclean responded to Touhy in a Trump-like fashion, Touhy might be able to dig up blog posts and comments showing their response contributed to the drop in sales. It’ll be interesting.

    • SSD says:

      I could care less what Fireclean is made from.

      I’m on the side of truth and truth looks like a lab report from an accredited lab. It’s not test results from an anonymous source, or testing conducted by a college student, especially not when it is used to characterize a product from a business. I said the same thing when those articles came out. Tuohy has a history of conducting and publishing “testing” that is questionable. He has presented this as fact and not opinion. Now, he’ll have an opportunity to substantiate his practices.

      • Dan G says:

        SSD while I agree with your criticism of the methodology, the methodology was never hidden which makes me say that I do not see where the case will be successful for FireClean. I would like to point out that while Tuohy made snarky headlines the claim of Fireclean being crisco/canola oil was made by The Firearm Blog and other people on forums.

        • 18Derp says:

          Yes, the FirearmBlog are partially snarky clowns. But… He made the claims it was exactly / identical to vegetable oils. Applying the brand of Canola (Canada Oil / Rapeseed) Crisco didn’t come out of no where. Tuohy has written for thefirearmblog.

          I think a lot of people have it right here. The issue wasn’t that he went and did some loose testing and reported on that – it’s that he said it was fact and more importantly that you’re being scammed if you buy their product.

      • From my perspective getting reputable testing and being transparent about your product should have been enough to completely squash this.

        Tuohy claiming it as fact was definitely a mistake. I’m wondering if Fireclean approached him about it on the sidelines before filing.

        I agree with SSD that this is definitely one to watch.

        • Dan G says:

          I do not disagree that it one to watch or that Tuohy is not above criticism for how he did the analysis but from my understanding on Libel and Slander cases is you have to prove intent which while Tuohy can be and was snarky he did not seem to be Malicious or intentionally lying, you would not go do a second round of tests if he was not trying to be honest, does that mean the analysis he did is accurate or of decent quality, no I don’t. but I don’t think it was intended as a lie i think it happened because he thought he knew more about chemical analysis than he does.

          He claims in his facebook post Fireclean did approach him to do a test to their specs and that he would be payed by them for the test so if true that just makes the waters murkier.

  11. The Truth says:

    Yea, the gun industry is rife with charlatans. Paul Leitner-Wise is another one that got his butt sued off in Federal court for FRAUD and Libel. Compulsive liar, and career con man: http://www.Leitner-Wise.net

  12. BAP45 says:

    Wasn’t Crisco/Canola oil itself originally derived from naval lubricant to begin with?

    • Database121 says:

      Crisco canola oil is just rapeseed oil send through a process that removes the erucic acid making it safe for human consumption. Rapeseed oil itself does have a long history in use as an effective mechanical lubricant.

    • Ragnar says:

      From what I heard, the Germans used it in submarines, then P&G bought the patent and used it as soap before turning it into a food product.

  13. Database121 says:

    If they are going after Tuohy. Wonder if Karl and Ian from Forgotten Weapons/InRange are next. Since they made a pretty long video that, while not necessarily making claims about the effectiveness or formulation of FireClean they were nonetheless very critical of FireClean’s marketing claims. And I feel like those two have at least as much reach and visibility as Tuohy has.

  14. Sierra5 says:

    FireClean has a right to pursue whatever legal recourse it sees fit. It’s a business supporting peoples live, not an ego driven entity hiding behind the illusion of internet anonymity. Smart guys know when to keep their mouths shut, period.

  15. Lasse says:

    The interesting thing here is how stupid people are… Plenty of people have been using FireClean for their weapons without any issues, but all of a sudden someone tells you it’s whatever type of oil and now it’s garbage. I bet that not a single person that switched from FC went to buy Crisco oil in bulk, which would be the correct move if you feel that you paid too much for FC, yet had a successful lubricant.

    • Jian Hong says:

      Exactly, makes me sick how the sheep mentality is strong in the gun community too. I see people jump on bandwagons even despite having zero experience or issues beforehand. These people need to get off their computer chair and put some rounds through theirs guns already.

      Related example, I’ve used Froglube since it first came out, never had an issue with it at all. Despite all these Internet clowns coming out screaming “it will gum up your action! It will rot and cause your gun to rust! It will freeze up your gun in the cold!” I’m still using it without any of those issues. The cold issue I can understand but I don’t live near snowy AOs so I will keep using it until I run out.

  16. txJM says:

    “Recently I discovered FireClean was suing myself and Everett for libel, slander, and assault. This didn’t come as a huge surprise as they had both threatened to sue me before I published the first article and also told me they’d “throw money” at anyone who could perform a test which they clearly expected to show other products being inferior to theirs – and repeatedly suggested I perform that test, reminding me that I’d be paid for my time.”

    This is from Tuohy. If it’s true, then this suit may backfire. I kinda hope it does.

    • SSD says:

      Considering they aren’t suing him for assault, I kind of question anything else he says in that statement.

      • James says:

        The GoFundMe page has been updated with the following: “In the initial post, I described the lawsuit incorrectly. It was described on Justia as “assault, libel, and slander” and I took those to be the points of the suit. However, that is simply the category under which the suit was described on Justia. At the time I wrote the original post, I had yet to be served with the lawsuit. My apologies.”

      • txJM says:

        Time will tell. Based on FireClean’s PR (or, lack of), I’m not high on their reputation and consider their lawsuit frivolous and baseless. If they present evidence the way they present “smoke tests”, then I get the feeling this suit will get dropped.

  17. The Stig says:

    I read the Complaint, and skimmed the exhibits. It wasn’t nearly as strong or coherent as I was expecting for the company to have filed the suit. I don’t doubt that they have lost money, however. I’m waiting for Messrs. Tuohy and Baker’s Answer(s) before I pass judgment on what I think the outcome will be.

  18. HTEngg says:

    First off, not a lawyer, but I do have experience with science and testing. I read the filing, because it is was fascinating as a user of Fireclean. It does sound like Mr. Touhy may have exaggerated a bit and will have to fight that in court. I really have no thought either way on that regard. I have used Fireclean, and with the exception of the next paragraph found it worked reasonably well.

    I noticed this tidbit is up on the Fireclean directions: “DO NOT APPLY FIRECLEAN OR OTHER OILS IN FIRING PIN CHANNELS OF SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOLS.” Having had some get in a 1911 firing pin channel and cause it to “gum up” and cease functioning after being stored awhile, this is good advice. It doesn’t touch semi-automatic, hammer-fired pistols anymore lest it get in through the breachface during cleaning/storage if I were to use too much lube.

    However, It looks like their claims against Baker are going to be hard to prove. The crux of the issue seems to be that people claimed “fire clean is canola”, which he appears to have set out to explore. That specific claim is likely false, especially using their patent application as evidence. According to the fireclean patent application, paraphrasing: it contains multiple vegetable/plant/fruit/nut/etc. based oils (Claim 150). Therefore it could also contain (as part of its three or more oils) a rapeseed derivative (what canola (Canada Oil) was derived from, which would be likely be close in chemical makeup). From my reading, I have not found an area where they have said specifically that rapeseed oil (or its derivatives) are not a component. This will be important later. Also, considering it seems he and Fireclean have had a somewhat respectful discourse, at least according to his blog, where they were discussing testing methods and other ways to determine functional differences. I’m not a lawyer, but if I were sitting on that jury, conspiracy charges are going to be tough to get to stick.

    However, the last point covers possible potential flaws in the scientific testing portion on both sides. I’m not a chemist, however Baker cites some literature claiming that the iodine portion of the FT-IR test is rather variable (how much remains to be seen, not my field). This, along with NMR and IR Spectroscopy seems to be how Fireclean is showing that their product is not in fact only and/or at all “Canola” etc (see claim 42) and I guess that will come out in court. It is incredibly interesting and what they don’t say (“single” or “repackaged” vegetable oil comes up quite a bit), and how they say things in their complaint is very telling.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears that Touhy sent Baker the samples for the testing, therefore Baker was blind to the tests, so based on what he knew to be true, and on his experiences, it will be difficult to prove malice of intent on that side. Contributing to that point is that in the directions to Fireclean they instruct you to shake the bottle. Considering they are possibly using multiple oils (according to the patent application they are most certainly doing so) in one container is it possible they may separate? If true this fact alone may have caused either or both of Touhy and Baker to make an unwitting error in testing, therefore not testing all of the oils together (mixing) and testing only one component by accident. Even then, the claim in table 142, lacks uncertainty values and possible sources of error, and some of those values are surprisingly close to one another. Again, will be interesting to see the experts debate this one.

    I won’t make any conclusions, lest Fireclean sue me, but break out the popcorn. Vegetable oils have been used in industrial use for a long time. Having a vegetable oil combination of some kind designed for firearms is not bad, and likely a good thing. Especially if it were tested to handle the viscosity and conditions of firearms specifically. Paying that much for a specially designed product that worked (but made out of cheap materials) would not be a problem. Whether I approve of the company and will continue to support their product, regardless of its effectiveness, after/because of this lawsuit I will not comment on.

    • L.Washing says:

      well thats a great comment…will everybody (including me) bring so much substance to each comment written here!
      thanks

  19. Chuck says:

    Did Vickers Tactical or Mr. Vickers ever follow up or reply to the indictment of the smoke test video being bogus? I would like to read the reply. Thank you in advance.

  20. Duke says:

    what this actually is, is a small business protecting their brand (all opinion and public relations aside) and its integrity from unprofessional journalism— which has been heretofore surprisingly uncommon in the tribal, frequently incestuous “Tactical Firearms Industry”. This stuff gets hammered elsewhere in the business world, but overlooked in the “TFI”, because everyone knows everyone else,who they are allied with, and set-preservingly call each other “brother” to their face, only to verbally gut them once out of earshot.

    This also reminds the Internet-at-large, particularly the “TFI” and its participants; “what you say online has real-world repercussions, and can/will be used against you in a court of law”.

    • Duke says:

      To be clear and fair about “unprofessional” -look at CNET as a model; test, compare, cite sources. Where the TFI has harmed bloggers and writers, is that we don’t want the facts only, SGT Friday– we [Maximus Voice]”MUST BE ENTERTAINED!”[/Maximus Voice], it must have intrigue, drama and a note of pot-stirring he-said-she-said confection to it. Reviews are fine. Opinions are fine. Companies will rise, and companies will fall. The TFI would do well to reward and encourage this sort… even at the risk of boring the Internet in droves.

  21. Duke says:

    “self-preservingly” …autocorrect -such a two-edged sword.

  22. Bill says:

    Now Fireclean will have to divulge their “secret formula” for canola oil. Touhy published an article that related the findings of a lab. Good luck fireclean.

    • Mike says:

      Which labs did Tuohy use? (He states he used 3 separate labs.) What testing procedures did these labs use? Are these labs accredited? Are these labs willing to put their finding up in court?

      I’ll wait while you find this info out.

      • Bill says:

        You clearly don’t know how this works.

        I don’t have to find out anything.

        But here is one for you genius, Fireclean cannot tell a Judge Fireclean isn’t canola oil without disclosing what it actually is.

        Hint: Fireclean is a money separation device marketed by shysters to gun owning rubes.

        • Mike says:

          Someone has been drinking Tuohy’s koolaid. By the gallons.

          • Bill says:

            Wow, burn.

            Fireclean is nothing new or ground breaking. When the (false) claims Fireclean has made start coming out in court I’m going to enjoy the butt hurt.

            They’re suing to silence critical thought, which is something you lack, While simultaneously preserving their right to publish bullshit claims.

            The irony in the suit astounds.

        • Actually says:

          Actually, that isn’t true. All they have to do is convince a jury it isn’t canola oil, or Crisco or any of the other types of oils they’ve been accused of using by the defendants.

  23. fritz bousigschouer says:

    im not gona use fireclean at all.

  24. LawDog says:

    What I would like to know is why Fireclean didn’t include George Fennell as a defendant as in their complaint the allege he was the one who specifically stated it was crisco. That and from what I read I’m not confident that they will do very well here.

  25. Fireclean will be receiving the two bottles of their product I was given at SHOT Show last year in the mail early next week. I have no complaints with the product but I’ll gladly pay the shipping to dispose of it properly at this point.

    They’re going to get their ass handed to them in court as all Touhy and Baker need to do is claim that they used the name “Crisco” as an easily recognizable generic trade name for veggie oils and that their claim was that FireClean was “similar” to them…case closed. Note that FireClean NEVER states that their product isn’t canola and/or soybean oil and only that is is not “otherwise common” canola and soybeans oils…which leaves open that it is UNcommon canola and soybean oils. The testing that FireClean presents only establishes that their product has less iodine, pretty much every other aspect is rather similar to the Crisco products it was tested against.

    Is it Crisco? No. Is it specially prepared canola and/or soybean oils, making it substantially similar to the Crisco oils, with some additives? I’d think if it weren’t then FireClean would have simply said that it wasn’t.

  26. Dr Greg says:

    So….it’s okay for fire clean to make magical claims, but not okay for someone to attempt a scientific evaluation of the product? Real classy, fire clean. How about you do some real testing instead, or did Andrew get too close to the truth for comfort?

    • SSD says:

      I’m curious what you’re a Doctor of.

    • AlexC says:

      They did do real testing. At an accredited professional testing facility. You should probably read the court filing in full, because until you do, everything you say is an un-informed opinion with little metaphorical value.

      The devil is in the details.

      • MattT says:

        Hmm, bet ‘ol Tuohy was Vuurcrapen when he got served.

        To call him a ‘Journalist’ is an insult to journalists..real ones anyway. Got that journalism degree handy, Andy?

        You’re a loser with a Costco keyboard and a big mouth. Sucks when the bully shoe is on the other foot.

        You trashed, then incited a public ‘electronic lynching’ on a company, and now they get their day in court with a real legal team. And you get the public to foot the bill for your burn-in. Did I mention you’re a loser?