Beer Manufacturers Sued
Coors beer, a brand co-owned by SAB Miller, one of the companies facing the lawsuit. Press Association

Beer manufacturing companies including SAB Miller, MillerCoors LLC, Pabst Brewing Company, Molson Coors Brewing Company and Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide are all facing a $500 (£316) million lawsuit from the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning "to scatter one's own" in the Lakota language, claim that, one out of every four children suffer from foetal disorders as a result of excessive alcohol abuse on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Although alcohol is banned in The Oglala Sioux Tribe's area since 1832, the locals claim that beer and other alcoholic beverages are smuggled in from beer stores in Whiteclay (a small town in Nebraska), who are also the targets of the lawsuit.

According to reports, four stores, in this small Nebraska Panhandle town, have sold an excess of 5 million beer cans in 2010 despite having only a dozen residents.

"You cannot sell 4.9 million 12-ounce cans of beer and wash your hands like Pontius Pilate, and say we've got nothing to do with it being smuggled," the Washington Post quoted Tom White, the tribe's attorney, as saying.

"The illegal sale and trade in alcohol in Whiteclay is open, notorious and well documented by news reports, legislative hearings, movies, public protests and law enforcement activities," reads the lawsuit according to the Washington Post.

"All of the above have resulted in the publication of the facts of the illegal trade in alcohol and its devastating effects on the Lakota people, especially its children, both born and unborn," the report said.

Neither beer companies nor the four beer stores in Whiteclay have made any official comment.