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Business litigation between beer giants is settled amicably

Litigation between business entities in Tennessee and elsewhere involves many different kinds of business law disputes. Often at the heart of a business litigation conflict, however, is the plaintiff's claim that the defendant business has breached its duties under a contract between them. Sometimes, the claim can be filed on the anticipation that a breach is being planned by the other side, which may be characterized as a claim of anticipatory breach of contract.

That appears to be the basis for a lawsuit filed in 2016 by Pabst Brewing Co. against MillerCoors LLC. In the suit, Pabst claimed that MillerCoors intended to breach a contract between them to continue manufacturing and shipping Pabst products. Since 1999, the larger MillerCoors has manufactured and shipped nearly all of the Pabst brand products as per the terms of their agreement. Pabst sued when it allegedly learned that Miller intended to cease continued production of Pabst products under the agreement.

The parties announced recently that they had settled the state court filed by Pabst. The parties did not specifically describe the details of their settlement. The parties had disputed their respective rights and duties under two possible five-year extensions to the original contract. MillerCoors argued that it had the sole discretion to decide whether it would continue to brew for Pabst.

Pabst, which is the smaller of the two companies, asserted that they must both work "in good faith" to find a resolution. Apparently, that interpretation won out because the Pabst CEO announced after the settlement that Pabst would continue to market its brands for many years to come. During the litigation, Pabst reportedly revealed internal MillerCoors documents showing that the larger company was worried about competition from Pabst and about Miller's ability to continue with the agreement. Business litigation of this general kind may be found in the courts of Tennessee as well as all other state courts.                                                                                                   

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