In 1991, Richard Overton sued Anheuser-Busch for false and misleading advertising under Michigan State law. He also included one claim that appears to allege that he personally suffered injuries as a result of the false advertisements. A number of publications and websites parodied this lawsuit by focusing only on the third claim for relief and ignoring Mr. Overton’s civic minded efforts to prevent Bud Light from making false or misleading claims in its advertisements.
While it does appear that the third claim for relief is based on alleged injuries (including “personal injury to his health both physical and mental, emotional distress, and financial loss in excess of $10,000) suffered by Mr. Overton in as a result of Anheuser-Busch’s alleged false advertising, that is only one of three claims made in the complaint.
So here is the rest of the story….
A copy of the actual complaint against Anheuser Busch has been provided by Mr. Overton and it can be viewed by clicking here. We encourage you to read the entire complaint and view the third claim in the context of the first two.
Following are some excerpts of emails received from Richard Overton
“THIS IS NOT A TORT CASE! IT IS A CONSUMER PROTECTION CASE!! AN ALLEGED VIOLATION OF THE ADVERTISING ACT.”
“THE SECTION OF LAW CITED AS AUTHORITY IN THE CASE STATES FLATLY, NO TORT NEED BE ESTABLISHED! I WAS NOT CLAIMING PERSONAL DAMAGES, BUT MAKING A CASE THAT AS LONG AS THIS VIOLATION EXISTED, I AND OTHERS COULD BE COMPELLED TO PURCHASE THIS PRODUCT THAT IS PROMOTED ILLEGALLY!”
“The test [sic] of the complaint will reveal reference to “beautiful girls” is in part descriptive of the specific commercial I site [sic] as being in violation of the law. The “sick when I drank” comment must come from the generic refernces [sic] to the inherent properties of alcohol, also in the complaint.”
No where [sic] can you find that I am suing A-B for failure to deliver on imiplied [sic] promises from their commercials!
Again, for the full context of this lawsuit, please read the complaint.