Trouble brewing: Inmate suing beer companies says suit not about money
Wants warning labels on all containers of alcohol
A day after filing to sue the world’s largest beer, wine and liquor companies for $1 billion, Keith Brown still sat in his Idaho prison cell, Thursday, six years into a 15-year sentence for manslaughter after killing his business partner. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
A day after filing to sue the world’s largest beer, wine and liquor companies for $1 billion, Keith Brown still sat in his Idaho prison cell, Thursday, six years into a 15-year sentence for manslaughter after killing his business partner.
“He was a drinker,” Brown said. “He was drinking a case of beer every day. He raped my wife and he shot me. In the ensuing struggle, he ended up getting killed.”
Brown and four other Idaho inmate plaintiffs trace all their social, professional and legal problems back to the first time they got drunk.
“From that point on,” Brown said, “I just became the hellion, you know? The wild child, I would steal money out of my mom’s purse so I could go out and have a good time. There was nothing I wouldn’t do to keep that party going, to keep it rocking, to be the man.”
Brown said those good times led to incarceration and addiction – addiction, he believes, alcohol manufacturers failed to warn him about.
“I think for everyone it’s axiomatic that alcohol is something that is addictive and lowers your inhibitions,” Boise attorney Joe Filicetti said.
“I can understand where people are looking at it and they’re saying: That’s just a B.S. lawsuit, you know?” Brown said.
But Brown likely understands more about this country’s legal system than most people. He said he holds multiple law degrees, used to own a paralegal company and work in a law library.
“Nothing to toot my horn about – being in prison – but I’m educated enough to draft that document that you read,” Brown said.
As for how he conjured that $1-billion figure in said document:
“You know what I did?” Brown said. “I just scratched my head and said: Make it impossible and maybe they’ll come with a settlement and put the labels on.”
Brown is still waiting for an attorney to rally to his cause.