Five Idaho inmates, blaming alcohol for the crimes that put them behind bars, are suing some of the nation’s biggest beer, liquor and wine companies for $1 billion. If there were a warning label on booze, they say, they would have been aware of its addictive dangers.
Keith Allen Brown, Steven Thompson, Woodrow Grant, Cory Baugh and Jeremy Brown all claim that had they known how addictive alcohol was they wouldn’t be locked up today, ABC News reported.
“If I was not an alcoholic, the shooting would never have happened,” Brown said in his affidavit. The 34-year-old is serving a 20- to 30-year sentence for shooting and seriously wounding a man in 2001.
The plaintiffs are serving their sentences at Idaho’s Kuna facility for crimes range from grand theft to manslaughter, the news site said. They filed suit in Boise’s U.S. District Court in December and currently do not have any representation.
The inmates are going after eight defendants including: Anheuser-Busch, Coors, Miller Brewing and the owner of Jim Beam whiskey, American Brands.
“I have spent a great deal of that time in prison because of situations that have arose because of people being drunk, or because of situations in which alcohol played a major role,” Brown said in his affidavit. “At no time in my life, prior to me becoming an alcoholic, was I ever informed that alcohol was habit-forming and addictive.”
“I fear the day I am released from prison,” Grant, 27, said in his affidavit. “I do not know if I can be a productive member of society and still control the desires and craving to use alcohol.”
Boise attorney Joe Filicetti dismissed their case, telling KIVI that alcohol addiction and its effects are essentially common knowledge.
“If you put these guys through depositions and you ask them ‘What do you know about alcohol?’ I think it’s pretty common knowledge that it’s addictive,” Filicetti told KIVI. “It’s well known to be addictive. It’s well known to be something that causes you to reduce your inhibitions and to do things you otherwise wouldn’t do.”