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)

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Your access to, and engagement with, this website should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. Any legal questions should be directed to an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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

Attorney Advertising Disclaimer: This website may be considered Attorney Advertising under the laws and rules of some jurisdictions. Each case is different, and outcomes depend on multiple factors, including the unique set of facts and applicable law. No attorney can guarantee a particular outcome in a given case.

I, Joseph Schaeffer, am solely responsible for the content of this website. My primary office address is located at 48 Donley St., Morgantown, West Virginia, 26501.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s