S&C Clears Summary Judgment Hurdle and Prepares for Trial for Pabst Brewing Company

April 9, 2018

With trial approaching, S&C has won a series of preliminary victories for client Pabst Brewing Company in its $500 million lawsuit against MillerCoors LLC for MillerCoors' breach of the parties' decade-old Brewing Agreement, fraud and misrepresentation. In May 2017, S&C convinced the Court to deny MillerCoors' motion for judgment on the pleadings and reject the argument that Pabst's claim failed as a matter of law. The Court ruled that it was premature to decide whether MillerCoors' actions were contemplated by the Agreement and thus exempt from a bad faith claim. In April 2018, S&C persuaded Judge Timothy Witkowiak of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court to deny MillerCoors' motion for summary judgment on Pabst's claim that MillerCoors breached its contractual duty of good faith and fair dealing, and to deny MillerCoors' motion to dismiss Pabst's unfair competition claims. S&C also defeated MillerCoors' motion to compel production of Pabst's privileged, pre-acquisition legal advice.

The case will now proceed to trial in November 2018.

Since 1999, MillerCoors has brewed nearly all of Pabst's products pursuant to an agreement between the two companies. Pabst alleges in its suit that MillerCoors “decided to abandon Pabst on a baseless determination that it will lack sufficient production capacity” to continue brewing Pabst Blue Ribbon and a number of other Pabst products.

Pabst is a world-renowned brewer of over thirty brands of beer, including such historic brands as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Old Milwaukee and Schlitz.

The S&C team advising Pabst is led by Adam Paris and also includes Sverker Hogberg and Jackson Trugman.