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Maris workers admit to selling expired beer.

A number of former Mans Distributing employees were brought to the stand last week, during the second week of Anheuser's defense phase in the Maris v. A-B case. These exMaris employees spoke about problems at the distributorship and admitted to repackaging and selling out-of-date beer.

The employees described using hair spray, carburetor cleaner or a substance called "eradicator" to remove code dates on beer packages. Other employees said they would remove new cans from beer cases, and replace the cans with out-of-date cans before resealing the case boxes using glue sticks or tape.

"I did what I had to do to avoid paying for the beer," former employee Michael McMann testified about the repackaging. Mr. McMann said that he had repackaged beer so he wouldn't have to pay a fine for bringing out-of-code beer back to the warehouse. Several other Maris employees testified to the same practice.

The new testimony came at the end of the 10th week of the Maris v. A-B lawsuit.

Maris attorneys cross-examined the witnesses asking whether these practices were conducted with approval of the Maris family. Some witnesses said that the Maris family may not have known about the repackaging efforts.

The Maris attorneys also hammered at the credibility of these witnesses, emphasizing that they were admitting to "dishonest" actions.

This week, a local restaurant owner also testified to questionable practices at Maris, recalling that Maris drivers sometimes delivered beer to her restaurant bearing price stickers from other stores. She reported that diners had complained that the beer was flat.

Mans attorneys complained about the visit of a witness to the home e of an A-B attorney. One former Mans employee met with an A-B attorney and ended up having dinner at his house. The A-B attorney in question insisted that no specifics about the trial were discussed.

The case could go to the jury in the next few weeks. The brewery's attorneys are claiming that Maris deserved termination because it violated the terms of agreements with Anheuser-Busch, through repackaging outdated beer, falsifying reports, keeping dirty warehouses and running a fleet of aging vehicles.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Anheuser-Busch Inc. versus Maris Distributing Co.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 30, 2001
Words:349
Previous Article:Flavor study examines cans vs. glass and PET.
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