Maker’s Mark Class-Action Lawsuit Dismissed


May 5, 2015

I recently wrote in a Whisky Magazine column that Maker’s Mark was the one brand that could easily defend its “handmade” status. It hand dips the bottles, after all, and this term lacks a true definition. Yesterday, the courts dismissed the class-action suit.

According to a  Maker’s Mark press release, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ruled in favor of Maker’s Mark and parent company Beam Suntory in a class action lawsuit alleging misleading marketing in the labeling of Maker’s Mark as “handmade.”  The ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle dismissed the complaint of two Florida consumers “with prejudice,” ending the case, the release said.  “In all events, the plaintiffs have not stated a claim on which relief can be granted,” the ruling concludes.

“We have asserted all along that the complaints in this case were frivolous and without merit, and we are very pleased the court agreed with our position so emphatically,” said Rob Samuels, chief operating officer of Maker’s Mark.

Beam Suntory, which owns Maker’s Mark and is facing a similar suit for its Jim Beam brand, had sharp words for similar lawsuits.

“This ruling….should send a strong message to those who would seek to gain from similar baseless and irresponsible litigation,” said Kent Rose, senior vice president and general counsel of Beam Suntory.