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Rye class action lawsuit.


brettckeen
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Seagrams 7 is small batch? Learn something new every day.

Its been comical for a while, its just ridiculous now.

I wish Beam/JD and some of the other mega brands would proudly proclaim big batch, and consistency in every bottle, etc.

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McDonald's takes pride in billions sold. It was a matter of time before a class action lawsuit. OK, so say I did purchase one of these products. I drank it, recycled the bottle and don't have a receipt. Can I still participate in the lawsuit? I say this in jest. I have no interest. How would I know if I fell into the "and more!" category?

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The interesting thing is 5.36(d) violators are breaking a federal law involving required disclosure, which could make a prima facie case for deceptive practice. Defense that labels were approved by TTB won't stand if they knowingly submitted non-compliant labels for approval. Hard part might be proving consumer harm.

But it's not completely insane.

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But it's not completely insane.

Certainly not near it for the attorney's who vacuum up several (hundred?) thousand 'damaged'-class folks willing to participate on the off-chance of a few bux in their furure. Seems like an exercise in futility for all but the lawyers.... But, then again, it's the lawyers who always win in these suits. Even if no action results they can garner some pub for standing up against the BAD guys of big business (and/or the fibbing craft business little guys) ripping off consumers. In the end who was really damaged by any of this?????

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Funny that this flops a few weeks after the big article that has been circulating. While I certainly don't like what these distilleries are doing, I certainly am not going to lend my name to a bunch of lawyers who will walk with all the money and I'll get a coupon or whatever. Besides, since I was in the know when I bought the brands I bought, I certainly don't feel taken advantage of, nor do I have any financial loss.

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Speaking as a consumer I want accurate labeling so I will know what I'm buying. Deceptive practices (if not outright frauds) are widespread among whisky producers and if it takes a lawsuit to straighten them out then so be it.

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Isn't it true that "small batch" has no legal definition? Anybody can call whatever they please small batch. Seagram's 7 is labeled blended whiskey. For what it is, I don't see any deception. I have purchased a number of the items from the list. Bulleit, Dickel, and probably a few others list distilled in Lawrenceburg, IN on the label. Those companies are being honest. I read the label, and knew what I was buying. On the other hand, we know of at least one brand, maybe more on the list that don't list where the product was really distilled. There is indeed deception if people pretend to make something, conceal the true source, make up stories...

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Yes it's true small batch has no legal definition and means no more than "Super" or "Xtra" on a laundry detergent label.

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Squire how would feel about DSPs on all bottle labels? (distillation DSP and Bottled DSP just like a bonded) Interestingly every case of bourbon/rye i receive at the bar has a DSP on the case (where it was bottled).

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The Black Tot

I am pretty sure we would all love DSP numbers on every bottle, both for bottling and distillation.

tbt

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Yes, I've long advocated for DSPs (both distiller and bottler) as well as their addresses on the label.

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The brands they listed were about all mentioned in this article or the comments on article - http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/28/your-craft-whiskey-is-probably-from-a-factory-distillery-in-indiana.html

Diageo/Bulleit do state Distilled in IN on Bulleit Rye.

High West does NOT state where distilled on their bottle label. They are very honest about on their website and in person. The 5.36 (d) does not directly apply to blends and their products are blends.

I agree with Chuck that a case could be made against known 5.36 (d) violators. But the big guys like Diageo could not be included and chasing lawsuit money from a bunch of financially strapped small craft distillers probably would not be profitable enough.

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Is it about the use of the term "small batch" or more about not identifying the actual distiller? It seems more of the latter.

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Harry in WashDC
Sometimes I am ashamed of my chosen profession. I hate f'ing attorneys.

Oh, yeah - strike suiters. I have a vague recollection (consistent with this thread) of joining a class action suit against a phone company because, after reading the complaint, I figured we had a pretty good chance of winning. I sent in my several years' worth of paper bills (a prerequisite to getting a share). A couple years later, the case settled. I got a voucher good for a portion of the purchase price of a cellphone sold by the phone company. Because I had no use for a cell phone, particularly one on a network offered by that phone company, the voucher was worthless to me. The law firm got several hundred thousand dollars. On the other hand, the phone company did revise its billing, thus saving me an estimated 23 cents a month. [ASIDE: All numbers are approximate; this is from the best of my recollection. I may be totally off here. Please, phone company, don't sue.]

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The interesting thing is 5.36(d) violators are breaking a federal law involving required disclosure, which could make a prima facie case for deceptive practice. Defense that labels were approved by TTB won't stand if they knowingly submitted non-compliant labels for approval. Hard part might be proving consumer harm.

But it's not completely insane.

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I'm an attorney and don't care for lawyers who trump up class action suits strictly to generate revenue without doing any good for anybody, but if we want these guys to start obeying the law, and TTB keeps its head in the sand, nothing motivates like a lawsuit.

I also agree that there's no money to made from it.

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The Des Moines Register, true to form, picked up the "Templeton as Potemkin" story about 5 years too late and ran it on the front page today. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2014/08/26/templeton-rye-iowa-indiana/14604225/ And of course, only after the Daily Beast ran a similar story. The article mentions the possibility of a class action. It's an interesting idea. I'm not usually a big fan of class actions (I'm actually involved in defending one now), but this would fit the model of seeking to remedy a small, incremental harm and force a change in business practices. Like Chuck said, the difficulty may be in proving some consumer harm. I do think that TR has greatly benefitted from the fiction that it is made in Iowa, probably more than any other supposed craft distiller.

TR will claim that the whiskey industry is rife with tall tales, and they are right. Their tall tale goes further, however, and violates the Regs. I'd be willing to put the Capone story in with the other whiskey tales and folklore, but not where and how it is made.

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The Black Tot

I once drank bourbon and fell down.

I think I did this with rye, too.

What do you guys think? Can I retire on this?

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