$1.3 million Attorney Fee Awarded in Class Action Settlement - Mazow | McCullough, PC
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$1.3 million Attorney Fee Awarded in Class Action Settlement



The plaintiff alleged that Guinness Extra Stout or GES, in an attempt to deceive consumers of the origins of the beer, is not actually brewed at Saint James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, and is instead brewed in Canada. The plaintiff also alleged that all beer sold in Massachusetts during the class period was sourced, brewed, bottled in, and imported from Canada (Mass.Lawyers Weekly Staff).

These misrepresentations were believed by the plaintiff to result in a price premium. The court approved a class action settlement awarding damages of 50 cents per six-pack of GES sold in Massachusetts during the class period. That created the available claim relief fund of $769,104. Additionally, class members who submitted a claim form received cash payments of up to $10 per household with no proof of purchase required and up to $20 per household with actual proof of purchase provided. In addition to the terms of the court-approved settlement, in September 2015 all production of GES sold in Massachusetts and the continental United States moved to St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin by the defendants (Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff).

Attorney Kevin McCullough comments on behalf of Mazow McCullough saying, “We are honored to fight for consumers and consumer rights. This case is a good example of how long and how hard the fight often is when advocating for consumers. It took over six (6) years of litigation to settle the case but it shows that we never back down, and we never quit. Our resolve and commitment remain constant, whether we are going to battle against a local company or a large international company.”

Action: Consumer protection
Injuries alleged: Money damages in form of alleged price premium increase in the cost of product/beverage
Case Name: O’Hara v. Diageo Beer Company USA & Diageo North America, Inc.
Court/case no.: U.S. District Court/No. 1:15-cv-14139
Jury and/or judge: N/A (settled)
Amount: $769,104 for claim relief fund (additional $1.3 million in attorneys’ fees)
Most helpful expert: Stefan Boedecker, economic damage expert, Los Angeles
Date: Dec. 2, 2021
Attorneys: Kevin McCullough and Michael Forrest, of Forrest, Mazow, McCullough, Yasi & Yasi, Salem (for the plaintiff)

Source: Staff, Mass. Lawyers Weekly. “Suit: Beer Deceptively Marketed as Brewed in Dublin.” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, February 17, 2022. https://masslawyersweekly.com/2022/02/17/suit-beer-deceptively-marketed-as-brewed-in-dublin/.

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