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Maris to go to trial.

A judge from the U.S. District Middle Court of Florida has made a ruling that will allow some points of the Mans Distributing Co. termination case to be decided at trial. Lawyers for both sides claimed that the ruling was a victory.

Orlando attorney Bernie Dempsey, representing the Maris family, said that the judge's decision will allow the family to take Anheuser to trial on at least one charge, the one stating that contracts conspiring to restrain trade or commerce are illegal. He said that this might open the door to other lawsuits of a similar nature to be filed against Anheuser. "It is a decision that exposes A-B to the possibility of lawsuits from any distributor who feels that restrictions on public ownership have affected their ability to sell their operations[ldots] We have had a number of distributors contact us about this since the case began."

Anheuser-Busch praised the judge's separate finding that Anheuser-Busch had not tried to monopolize the market for beer distributorships.

"As to the remaining claim involving public ownership of beer distributorships, the court found that this matter shold be resolved in trial. We are confident that the provisions in our agreement with our beer wholesalers will be upheld."
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 3, 2000
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