ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Anheuser-Busch InBev, four other beer companies and two liquor stores are being sued in South Dakota by an Native American tribe that claims liquor sales devastated their population.
Attorney for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Tom White, says the alcohol was sold in nearby Whiteclay, Nebraska. “All these sales of alcohol – there’s only one place for it to go” – the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, noting that the reservation border is less than 250 feet away. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, Whiteclay has fewer than a dozen residents, yet in 2010 its four licensed retail stores sold the equivalent of 4.9 million 12-ounce servings of beer—or over 13,000 cans a day.
White says the companies took advantage of the tribe: “If this was happening in a population center and it was happening to minors, to our children, rather than Native Americans living out in the middle of the prairie, this never would have gone on.”
The lawsuit is asking for $500-million to help people with health care, social services and rehabilitation. Besides AB/InBev and the two liquor stores, the defendants named in the suit include SAB Miller, Molson Coors, Miller Coors LLC and Pabst. So far only AB Worldwide has responded. A spokesperson said they wern’t yet aware of the lawsuit.