Nothing Says “Kentucky” Like Fried Chicken …

Or a claim for “bourbon pollution.” The plaintiff in Brown-Forman Corp. v. Miller undoubtedly phrased his claim in more formal language, but the heart of his complaint was that the “angel’s share” escaping from bourbon barrels on his neighbors’ properties was promoting the growth of “whiskey fungus” on his.* Given the basic facts, it’s remarkable that the parties ever reached the (significant) legal issues, but they did. After (presumably) sober deliberation, the Supreme Court of Kentucky held that the plaintiff’s state law tort claims for damages were not preempted by the Clean Air Act but that his claims for injunctive relief would conflict with the established regulatory scheme. Left unanswered, however, was the burning question of how the distillers’ lawyers were paid: cash, check, or bourbon?

*Remarkably, this was not the first “whiskey fungus” case to appear on a court docket. See Merrick v. Diageo Americas Supply, Inc., No. 14-6198 (6th Cir. Nov. 2, 2015)

Source: Brown-Forman Corp. v. Miller, 2014-SC-000717-DG (Ky. Sept. 28, 2017)


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Opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC,  its employees, or its clients. To contact me, please e-mail jschaeffer@spilmanlaw.com

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