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WRF Secures Dismissal of Fourth Class Action Lawsuit against Coors and Other Major American Beer and Spirits Manufacturers

March 29, 2006

Washington, DC – The Superior Court of the District of Columbia has dismissed “with prejudice” all claims against Wiley Rein & Fielding client Molson Coors in a lawsuit alleging alcoholic beverage industry ads were to blame for underage drinking.  The court found that the plaintiff did not have standing to bring the suit in his own right or as the representative of his putative classes and further that he failed to state any claim on which relief could be granted.

The court is the fourth to dismiss claims on the grounds of lack of standing against Coors and most other major American manufacturers of alcoholic beverages in nearly identical cases.  Each case has been brought by the same group of lawyers on behalf of plaintiffs claiming to represent a broad group of parents and guardians.  These plaintiffs accused the defendants of false and misleading advertising, unfair trade practices in violation of consumer protection laws, unjust enrichment and negligence.

The plaintiffs sought billions of dollars, which they alleged were the defendants’ ill-gotten gains from underage drinking, and an injunction against the defendants’ advertising.  Similar suits are pending in state and federal courts across the country, and three have been dismissed in Ohio, Colorado and Wisconsin.

MolsonCoors is represented in these actions by WRF partners Thomas W. Kirby, Helgi C. Walker and Brian Nuterangelo.

View related news releases for Wisconsin, Ohio and Colorado dismissals.