S&C Obtains Preliminary Victory for Pabst in MillerCoors Suit

May 12, 2017

S&C won a preliminary victory this month for client Pabst Brewing Company in its $400 million lawsuit against MillerCoors LLC for MillerCoors' breach of the parties' decade-old Brewing Agreement, fraud and misrepresentation. On May 12, Judge Timothy Witkowiak of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court denied MillerCoors' motion for judgment on the pleadings, rejecting the argument that Pabst's claim failed as a matter of law. Instead, Judge Witkowiak ruled that it was premature to decide whether MillerCoors' actions were contemplated by the Agreement and thus exempt from a bad faith claim. The win means that Pabst's lawsuit will proceed. Trial is set for April 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.