A San Rafael attorney is at the center of multiple lawsuits alleging that InBev's Anheuser-Busch is watering down its beers, including Budweiser and Michelob. In filing a class action lawsuit in federal court late last month, attorney Josh Boxer claimed that Anheuser Busch "waters down its products, including the self-proclaimed 'King of Beers,' in order to increase profits while overstating the percentage of alcohol on their products’ labels."
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Sonoma County residents Nina Giampaoli and John Elbert, is one of several Boxer is coordinating against the beer conglomerate. Aside from the lead lawsuit in California, companion suits have been filed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states, Boxer told Reuters. There will be about a dozen lawsuits in total, he said.
"We know Anheuser-Busch takes several readings in each line in each brewery 24 hours a day" and uses the data to water the beer down to, or below, the promised alcohol content, Boxer said.
Giampaoli claims that she regularly purchased one six-pack of Budweiser per week during the past four years at retailers like Safeway and 7-Eleven in Sonoma County. Giampaoli says "she would not have purchased Budweiser had she known that Anheuser-Busch’s representations (of its alcohol content) were false," according to the complaint.
John Elbert makes the same claim in the complaint, saying the beers he purchased "had less value than what he paid, and (he) has accordingly suffered legally cognizable damages proximately caused by (the) defendant's misconduct," according to the complaint.
According to philly.com, Boxer is working with Philadelphia-based lawyer David Senoff, who is representing brothers Thomas and Gerald Greenberg in claiming that Budweiser doesn't pack the 5 percent punch of alcohol content it promises.
The brothers, residents of Ambler, Pa., pound more than a case of Bud a week, between the two of them, and they have been for four years, according to multiple media reports. But when two brothers couldn't get drunk from the suds, they decided it was Bud's fault.
According to a report in the Morning Call, Busch "denies that it shortchanges guzzlers when it comes to that 5.0 percent." The likely outcome of the case remains unclear.
Anheuser-Busch said it will fight the suit, calling it "groundless."
"Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws. We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers, which have made them the best-selling in the U.S. and the world," Peter Kraemer, vice president of brewing and supply, said in a statement to NBC.
“There are no impediments – economic, practical or legal – to AB accurately labeling its products to reflect their true alcohol content," Boxer said in a statement. "Nevertheless, AB uniformly misrepresents and overstates that content.”
To view the Greenberg's court documents, click here.