Beer drinker sues A-B because Leffe isn't made in a Belgian abbey

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by evilcatfish, Apr 4, 2016.

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  1. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Poo-Bah (5,005) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Why not just add a label (WARNING! This is an Inbev (or whomever) product)!
  2. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,985) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    +1,000 for Jackie Chiles! This case would be right up his alley. "A-B InBev? I been wantin' a piece o' them for years!"
  3. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,102) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    So, if this case settles out of court there still will be an unclear distinction about what is and isn't an Abbey Ale?

    I guess if I ever go pro I will name mine Ale That Is In The Style Of Abbey Ale But Doesn't Claim To be Abbey Ale But Uses An Authentic Abbey Ale Recipe
  4. EMH73

    EMH73 Poo-Bah (2,437) Sep 16, 2015 New York
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    I feel that if you are found to have filed a frivolous lawsuit you should be responsible for paying all court fees as well as the defendants' attorney fees. This would stop all these bullshit lawsuits that cost all of us money in some way.
    VABA likes this.
  5. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,517) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Funny that all the pro-lawsuit folks in this thread don't seem to have a problem with Sierra Nevada's Ovila® Abbey Ales or the Lost Abbey brewery or countless "craft" brands that use "Abbey" in the names or descriptions of their beer, or monk-related names or images, etc.
  6. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    My quick search into the wisdom generator provided these bullet points to copy and paste:
    • produced by a non-Trappist monastery — e.g. Benedictine; or
    • produced by a commercial brewery under commercial arrangement with an extant monastery; or
    • branded with the name of a defunct or fictitious abbey by a commercial brewer; or
    • given a vaguely monastic branding, without mentioning a specific monastery, by a commercial brewer.
    The other banter and my own knowledge on the material also can distill whatever this particular beer drinker portends into a backpfeifengesicht. I do hope they make him pay for this waste of time.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  7. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (387) Apr 2, 2011 Maine

    Just to clarify a legal point in response to some of the comments about this plaintiff not actually being harmed by the labeling, which is probably true, and he may very well not recover anything himself. Most consumer protection laws allow for the recovery of "nominal damages," which is basically when the law says: "The defendant broke the law, but you haven't actually been harmed, so here's a dollar (literally) and your attorney's fees." That's why these cases are viable, the fees, and there is also a chance that the plaintiff recovers punitive damages as a punishment against the defendant. Essentially, the government doesn't have the resources to police all of the consumer protection regulations on the books, so it enlists private citizens and their lawyers to do it for them. It's arguably a flawed system, but it's one way to enforce regulations without spending a fortune on government employees.
  8. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (296) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    They were full. We were at Du Boc. They were bottling Corsendonk that day, and brewing St. Fuillen. The guide explained that after the beer was bottled it was stacked in these tall alcoves to bottle condition. There were at least 5 or 6 brands visible to us.
  9. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    Wait, are you telling me that Lost Abbey is not an actual abbey?

    As I read this, an image of the rival insurance agent dressed in full fishing gear--the "I gotchya a dollar! Gotta be quick!" guy from the State Farm commercial--came to my head.
    rightcoast7 likes this.
  10. SpaceEurope

    SpaceEurope Initiate (0) Dec 26, 2012 New Jersey

    I'm just gonna say that Leffe Blonde is actually a very good beer for the price, no matter who makes it or how it's made.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,621) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Well, that is indeed a choice that AB InBev can make. The other choice is to 'play it out' in court if they and their lawyers are convinced that they are in the right. AB InBev certainly has the resources (money and lawyers) to defend themselves.

    As a counter-example MillerCoors faced a class action lawsuit concerning Blue Moon being a craft beer and they won that court case.

    LuskusDelph likes this.
  12. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (619) May 11, 2012 Missouri

    I wouldn't be surprised if the guy's lawyer buddy said "hey I wanna make a name for myself with this class action suit against AB-Inbev, want to put your name on it? We'll be famous!"
  13. NateDyk47

    NateDyk47 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2015 Michigan

    This reminds me of the guy who sued Red Bull because it didn't give him wings. So many stupid lawsuits these days.
  14. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    May not be the ultimate goal but can often be a negotiated compromise and both parties avoid extended legal wrangling that the associated costs and both feel some satisfaction at the resolution.

    One of the things I learned from being called for Jury duty is that a huge number of legal actions get resolved before any actually courtroom procedures are started.
    dennis3951 and TongoRad like this.
  15. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,903) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Here is what Michael Jackson wrote about Abbey beers. Leffe gets compensation for licensing the name.
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,621) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

  17. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,903) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    SN has developed a relationship with the Trappist monks at Ovila, and some of the proceeds from the Ovila Ales goes to the Monks, some was to rebuild the charter house from the stones brought to California by William Randolph Hearst and never used in his buildings.

    @sierranevadabill may wish to say more and correct anything I didn't say right.
    DovGibor likes this.
  18. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Being cynical doesn't mean you are wrong!
    LuskusDelph and TongoRad like this.
  19. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,517) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Yes, (& as noted on the SN page I linked ) --- so, similar to the arrangement Interbrew/InBev/ABInBev has long has with the Leffe abbey?
  20. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,903) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Coffee hadn't kicked in, didn't read the link.

    On one of our CA visits we went out to the Ovila Abbey, saw the Charter house, and walked the grounds a little.
  21. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (296) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico
  22. horsehockey

    horsehockey Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2014 Illinois

    What kind of compensation is this guy wanting? How damaging can it be that he thought he was drinking an abbey ale but it wasn't? I think this is more of an admission of stupidity, and a realization that without robbing a big company of their property he will never amount to anything. These type of lawsuits are frivolous.

    I have a big revelation for this guy... blue moon isn't craft beer, and in other news the sky is blue. Stupid greedy people piss me off. You know this is all about money. This low life has no other prospect of success in life.
    mwa423 likes this.
  23. lester619

    lester619 Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2009 Wisconsin

    I don't disagree, but it would be hard to define frivolous legally, which is probably why this kind of crap continues to go on.
    LuskusDelph, TongoRad and horsehockey like this.
  24. EMH73

    EMH73 Poo-Bah (2,437) Sep 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    True enough.
  25. fakedeadgirlfriend

    fakedeadgirlfriend Initiate (141) Jan 23, 2013 Florida

    You mean Blue Moon Abbey Ale is not brewed in an abbey?
  26. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (4,171) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I agree this Lefe lawsuit sounds like a stretch. On the hot coffee thing though, the woman who sued McDonalds back in the 90s got third degree burns and was hospitalized for 8 days getting skin grafts. When the case went to trial, the jury learned that McDonalds served its coffee much hotter than most other restaurant chains as a matter of policy, believing the customers took it to work with them and wanted it still piping hot when they got there. Apparently the company knew that people were getting third degree burns from spills as a result, but had calculated that it was cheaper to settle resulting lawsuits than to serve people normally hot coffee like every other chain. The jury decided to award punitive damages equivalent to like one or two days worth of coffee sales (something they never actually paid). And twenty years later people still complain it was a frivolous suit.
    Dravin, rocdoc1, DovGibor and 3 others like this.
  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,621) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    FWIW that is the aspect of the case that I personally found disturbing. Prior to the lady's lawsuit McDonalds knew there was a problem from prior incidents but continued the practice anyway (for the reasons you cited). I personally think it is not a responsible course of action for a business to do something purposefully that they know has caused harm.

    My recollection is that they finally negotiated a settlement of a much lesser value then the original jury judgement.

    thebeers and TongoRad like this.
  28. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    As already mentioned, you have some of the popular misconceptions about the McDonald's Hot Coffee suit.

    You might find these two fairly authoritative sources to have some useful information you won't have heard from the news or from hearing others talk about the case:
  29. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Final amount is unknown. See the links in the posts immediately below yours.
  30. billandsuz

    billandsuz Zealot (510) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    It ain't brewed on the Blue Moon neither.
    rocdoc1 likes this.
  31. jjboesen

    jjboesen Meyvn (1,345) Feb 1, 2002 Maryland

    Maybe it was an Abby Normal?
    Ozzylizard, cavedave and JackHorzempa like this.
  32. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (387) Apr 2, 2011 Maine

    Laws just like this actually exist in some states (or at least here in Florida), but predictably it's not an easy thing to prove and win. However, another attorney at my firm was successful in defending a frivolous lawsuit and getting a judgment for $300k in attorneys' fees because the lawsuit had no merit. The best part about the law is that the fee judgment goes against the plaintiff and his or her attorney, so it's a deterrent to lawyers pursuing ridiculous cases.
  33. Frank1990

    Frank1990 Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2016 Florida

  34. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    You are looking at the beer profile page. On the brewery page it indicates the beers are brewed at or by another brewery. This would be consistent with the idea that the beers are brewed under license from the Abbey and they then get some royalties for the use of the name.

    Edit: See Post #95 above.
    #114 drtth, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  35. Frank1990

    Frank1990 Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2016 Florida

    Got it, thanks
  36. Frank1990

    Frank1990 Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2016 Florida

    So where is it brewed?
  37. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Not sure exactly, but I think the point of the legal action is that it's brewed at an ABInBev facility in Belgium and sold as an Abbey beer. It seems the Plaintiff is claiming was misled into thinking was brewed at a Abbey and was therefore a quality beer..
  38. EMH73

    EMH73 Poo-Bah (2,437) Sep 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    I wish that was the case in all states. Any deterrent is good IMO. Having been the victim of a frivolous suit this matter is very important to me (unanimous jury decision in my favor). You know it's bad when the judge says to the defendants attorney "what is this case worth five cents?"
    VABA likes this.
  39. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Aspirant (247) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    Can I be compensated every time I buy something that turns out to be something different than what I originally thought?

    The answer is no, because I live in the real world where there are occasional consequences to making an uninformed purchase (usually amounting to no more than moderate inconvenience).

    This is so pathetic. Just another grab for money and attention. So, you got burned buying a mediocre "Abbey Ale"? Man up and fucking move on with your life!

    From a retail worker standpoint it gets a little old dealing with people that know they can get whatever they want by complaining the loudest. Seeing a bunch of grown assed adults behaving like children.....*shakes head*

    Alright, ending rant now....
    mwa423 likes this.
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,621) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

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