Beer companies are asking a judge to dismiss a $500 million lawsuit by
an American Indian tribe that accuses them of knowingly contributing to
alcohol-related problems on an impoverished South Dakota reservation.
Attorneys for the brewers, retailers and distributors filed motions on Friday to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in February by the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which governs the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The tribe alleges four beer stores in the tiny Nebraska border town of Whiteclay sold to its members, knowing they would take it back to the reservation, where alcohol sales are not allowed. Attorneys for the beer companies say the businesses all operate lawfully outside of the reservation's borders.
Whiteclay, population 11, sold the equivalent of 4.3 million cans of beer last year.