Philadelphia, PA: Several consumer fraud class action lawsuits have been filed against Anheuser-Busch alleging the brewer waters down its Budweiser, Michelob and other top selling beers. Filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states, the lawsuits allege that consumers have been sold beer that contains less alcohol than advertised on the labels.
According to the lawsuits, Anheuser Busch Companies, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ABI, (NYSE: BUD), "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.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that Anheuser Busch employs some of the most sophisticated process control technology in the world to precisely monitor the alcohol content at the final stages of production, and then adds additional water to produce beers with significantly lower alcohol content than is represented on the product labels, and depriving consumers of the value they paid for.
The lawsuits are based on information provided by former employees at the company's 13 US breweries, some in high-level plant positions, according to lead lawyer Josh Boxer (MSN.com). "Our information comes from former employees at Anheuser-Busch, who have informed us that as a matter of corporate practice, all of their products mentioned (in the lawsuit) are watered down," Boxer told MSN.com "It's a simple cost-saving measure, and it's very significant."
The complaint alleges: "There are no impediments --economic, practical or legal-- to AB accurately labeling its products to reflect their true alcohol content. Nevertheless, AB uniformly misrepresents and overstates that content."
Nina Giampaoli who filed the California-based lawsuit, said "I think it' wrong for huge corporations to lie to their loyal customers--I really feel cheated. No matter what the product is, people should be able to rely on the information companies put on their labels."
The plaintiffs are represented by The Mills Law Firm and Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser LLP.