A Native American tribe is suing a host of beer brewing companies, including Anheuser-Busch, SAB Miller, and MillerCoors. Why? The BBC reports:
The Oglala Sioux Tribe are asking for $500m (£316m) for healthcare, social services and child rehabilitation.Tribal elders say the lawsuit is a last resort after efforts to curb abuse through protests and policy failed.On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation one in four children suffers foetal disorders caused by alcohol abuse…Alcohol is outlawed on the reservation and the nearest town which allows alcohol is 20 miles (32km) away…The lawsuit alleges that beer makers and the shop owners knew the alcohol would be smuggled into the reservation for consumption or resale…The reservation has grappled with alcohol problems and poverty for generations, and the tribal council has said it hopes the case will help protect the community’s youth.
While in general Via Meadia thinks the trend toward regulation by lawsuit has gone entirely too far, it does seem that somebody should have asked questions when towns with only a few dozen residents were selling millions of cans of beer a year.Corporations may not have consciences, but the people who work there do — or should. Beer companies and merchants have an obligation to adopt responsible sales practices. Asking “What would Nucky Thompson do?” isn’t enough.