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Maris Family Appeals $50M Award

August 14, 2001

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ The family of baseball great Roger Maris wants a judge to nearly triple the $50 million award it won in a successful lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch, according to a motion filed Monday.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the brewer filed an appeal Monday asking for the verdict to be overturned or a new trial. Anheuser-Busch officials have said the termination of the Maris distributorship was legal, The Gainesville Sun reported.

A jury ruled Aug. 3 that the brewing giant improperly took away a beer distributorship from the Maris family. Jurors said they meant to award the family $139.7 million, but were confused by the judge’s instructions.

Circuit Judge R.A. Green told jurors to only consider the market value of the distributorship and not lost sales figures, which the panel estimated to be $89.7 million.

Anheuser-Busch spokesman Steve LeResche said the company is aware of the family’s motion, but had no comment.

The Maris family sued Anheuser-Busch for taking away the lucrative beer distributorship in 1997. The family had operated the business in Gainesville and Ocala for 29 years.

During the trial, attorneys for the Maris family claimed Anheuser-Busch wanted to take over the Maris distributorship so it could be given to family friends of chairman August Busch III.

The St. Louis-based brewer offered $20 million for the distributorship before taking it away.

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