Federal District Court Opinions

7-17-2006) InBev USA LLC, Plaintiff, v. Hill Distributing
Company, et al., Defendants. Case No.: 2:05 CV 298.
United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division.
July 17, 2006

Sarah D. Morrison (0068035) Trial Attorney Gerhardt A.
Gosnell, II (0064919) Chester, Willcox & Saxbe LLP
Columbus, Ohio Attorneys for Defendant Hill Distributing

James J. Hughes, III (0036754) Trial Attorney Kevin M.
Kinross (0072395) Bricker & Eckler LLP Columbus, Ohio
Attorneys for Plaintiff InBev USA LLC

David W. Alexander (0017156) Trial Attorney Mary C. Mertz
(0075225) Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP Columbus, OH
Attorneys for R.L. Distributing Company and Tri-County
Wholesale Distributors


JAMES GRAHAM, District Judge

This matter is before the Court following the Memorandum
Opinion and Order issued on April 3, 2006 (Document 56). As
set forth in that Opinion and Order, summary judgment has
been granted in favor of Defendants with respect to their
claims seeking a declaration that InBev USA’s termination
of their franchise agreements would violate Ohio’s Alcohol
Beverages Franchise Act, O.R.C. § 1333.82, et seq.
(the “Franchise Act”). Accordingly, for the reasons set
forth in that Opinion and Order, and for good cause shown,
the Court hereby finds that:

A. Plaintiff does not allege that just cause exists for
the termination of its franchise agreements with
Defendants, and Defendants do not consent to termination;

B. Defendants have prevailed on the merits of their
counterclaims for declaratory judgment and injunctive
relief under the Franchise Act;

C. The merger or combination of InBev USA, LLC, Labatt USA
LLC, Beck’s North America and/or Latrobe Brewing Company
does not permit Plaintiff to terminate the franchise
agreement of any of the Defendants under the Franchise Act;

D. Defendants will be irreparably harmed absent the
issuance of a permanent injunction; and

E. Defendants have no adequate remedy at law.

Therefore, IT IS ORDERED that InBev USA LLC, and its
agents, servants, employees, independent contractors,
attorneys, and those in active concert or participation
with them, are hereby permanently restrained and enjoined
from doing any of the following based upon the events and
Page 2 transactions that formed the basis for this
litigation, including but not limited to the merger or
combination of InBev USA, LLC, Labatt USA LLC, Beck’s North
America and/or Latrobe Brewing Company:

1) Terminating or altering its franchise with Defendants;

2) Withholding the delivery of beverages ordered by

3) Changing or altering the exclusive sales territory of

4) Taking any action to appoint any person or entity as a
distributor to replace Defendants in their exclusive sales
territory, and;

5) Terminating the authorization for consent to import
alcoholic beverages in the State of Ohio issued at the
request of InBev to Defendants.

The Court further ORDERS that the cash, bond and/or
letters of credit submitted by Defendants to secure the
Restraining Order dated March 31, 2005, are hereby RELEASED
by the Court.