[MIAMI] Anheuser-Busch will pay up to US$28 million to settle a class action lawsuit over Beck's brand labeling that consumers said falsely led them to believe the beer was brewed in Germany under an agreement approved in Florida federal court on Tuesday.
Attorneys for the affected consumers estimated about 1.7 million households purchased the beer products in question between May 2011 and June 2015.
Anheuser-Busch agreed to pay 50 cents per six pack, US$1 for each 12-pack, and US$1.75 for each 20-pack of 12-ounce bottles. Total payments will be capped at $50 for households with proof-of-purchase, and $12 for those without.
Some 60,000 claims have been filed, and more are expected, said plaintiffs' attorney Tucker Ronzetti at a court hearing.
Anheuser-Busch also agreed to add labels identifying the Beck's brand as having been made in the United States for the next five years, and to make similar changes to its website.
The beer maker also agreed to pay US$3.5 million in lawyers'fees under the agreement approved by US Magistrate Judge John J O'Sullivan in the US Southern District of Florida.
The suit was filed by a Florida man in Oct 2013, "alleging that Beck's Pilsner had been falsely or misleadingly labeled,"according to court documents.
In its settlement, Anheuser-Busch did not admit wrong-doing. "Beck's has always been truthful, transparent and in compliance with all legal requirements," Jorn Socquet, vice president of marketing at Anheuser-Busch said in an email.