Budweiser Lawsuit: Blame it on the (Lack of) Alcohol

By Robyn Hagan Cain on March 07, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

So many naive law students start law school thinking that they will change the world in a public interest career. They will fight the good fight. They will represent the little guy. They will MAKE. A. DIFFERENCE.

And then they end up doing doc review in a windowless office because they need a job to pay off their loans and (ideally) pay for food and rent.

But today, we have a story of attorneys -- nay, heroes -- who found a way to stand up for the one thing that law students and lawyers alike hold dear.


Last week, lawyers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and California filed class action lawsuits against Anheuser-Busch InBev , alleging that the company is watering down its beers, and misrepresenting the alcohol content to consumers, Time reports. Lawyers in Ohio and Colorado are expected to follow suit. (Pun intended.)

According to the Time article, former Anheuser-Busch employees are blowing the whistle on the King of Beers, telling the world that they routinely watered down 10 Anheuser-Busch products: Budweiser, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice and Bud Light Lime. The extra H2O can result in beers that contain 3-to-8 percent less alcohol than what their labels indicate.

Anheuser-Busch InBev denies the claims, The Associated Press reports. "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.

Lead attorney Josh Boxer, however, is standing by his informants. He told the AP, "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 ... It's a simple cost-saving measure, and it's very significant."

If you've spent years thinking that public interest work is the only way to actually serve the public interest, Josh Boxer could become your new role model. A plaintiff's lawyer using his law degree to fight for more alcohol? Er, and truth in advertising? Sounds like a hero to us.

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