Suit targets alcoholic drink producers

Class action cites promotions to underage consumers

Nov 28, 2003 - A Washington, D.C., man has sued several breweries and alcoholic drink producers, claiming they market and advertise their products to underage drinkers.


Washington, D.C., plastic surgeon Ayman Hakki sued the Adolph Coors Co., Heineken N.V.; Mark Anthony Brands of Canada, maker of Mike's Hard Lemonade; and alcohol distillers Bacardi USA Inc., Brown-Forman Crop., Diageo PLC and Kobrand Corp. Also named as a defendant is the Beer Institute of Washington, D.C.

Hakki contends the class action suit doesn't attack the alcohol industry as a whole or beverage marketing in general, but focuses only on the defendants' "deliberate, reckless and illegal targeting of underage consumers."

The suit cites Coors promotions tied to "Scary Movie 3," a feature film that's rated PG-13, and Diageo's use of its Captain Morgan character to represent its spiced rum brand of the same name.

Hakki is represented by Boies Schiller & Flexner, whose partner David Boies represented former Vice President Al Gore in his presidential election petition. Boies was also lead counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice in its antitrust case against Microsoft Corp.

The punishment sought includes the return of profits accruing from such sales, and punitive and treble damages.

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