Oglala Sioux Sue Beer Cos., Distributors, Retailers for Alcoholism

S.D. tribe's suit names A-B InBev, SABMiller, Molson Coors, MillerCoors, Pabst

Published in CSP Daily News

WHITECLAY, Neb. --  The Oglala Sioux Tribe has filed a lawsuit against brewers, retailers and distributors of alcohol sold in Whiteclay, Neb., alleging that the defendants are engaged in a common enterprise focused on assisting and participating in the illegal importation of alcohol sold at Whiteclay onto the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

The tribe is demanding $500 million in damages for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation caused by chronic alcoholism on the reservation, according to an Associated Press report.

The sale, possession and consumption of alcohol is illegal on the Pine Ridge. Whiteclay lies less than 250 feet from the reservation border.

Defendants named in the complaint include Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide Inc., SAB Miller/Miller Brewing Co., Molson Coors Brewing Co., Miller Coors LLC, Pabst Brewing Co., Pivo Inc. dba High Plains Budweiser, Dietrich Distributing Co. Inc., Arrowhead Distributing Inc., Coors Distributing of West Nebraska dba Coors of West Nebraska, Jason Schwarting dba Arrowhead Inn Inc., Sanford Holdings LLC dba D&S Pioneer Service, Stuart Kozal dba Jumping Eagle Inn and Clay Brehmer and Daniel Brehmer dba State Line Liquor.

"The Oglala Sioux Tribe seeks compensation for all of the damages the Lakota people have suffered as a result of illegal alcohol sales," said Tom White, legal counsel for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, with White & Jorgensen Law Offices in Omaha. "The defendants have failed to make reasonable efforts to ensure their products are distributed and sold in obedience to the laws of the State of Nebraska and the Oglala Sioux Tribe."

A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch InBev told the news agency late last week she was not yet aware of the lawsuit. Representatives for the four beer stores declined comment or were unavailable.