Keith Allen Brown shot a man to death in Priest Lake five years ago, leading to a 15-year prison sentence. But the 52-year-old says his problems started long before that, when he was just a boy and tasted alcohol for the first time.
Brown and four other inmates at Idaho’s Kuna facility are suing major beer companies, blaming their crimes on alcoholism and claiming that the companies are responsible because they don’t warn consumers that their products are addictive.
Reminiscent of lawsuits filed against major tobacco companies in the mid-1990s, the litigation targets many of the same companies named in a lawsuit filed last February by an Indian tribe in South Dakota. In that case, the Oglala Sioux accused beer companies and a nearby store of contributing to rampant alcoholism on the reservation by disregarding the tribe’s no-alcohol policy.The fact is that alcohol (like other intoxicants) is a real problem. I suppose if this were a deep, dark secret, something that we don't talk about, they might have a legitimate complaint about the lack of warnings. But is there anyone who doesn't know, especially by the time they have developed a drinking problem, that alcohol is addictive and leads to stupid, often horrible results?