Jägermeister Ordered to Pay $11.75M to Missouri Distributor
Skip to main content

Sign up for the brand-new Whiskey Raiders Bottle of the Month Club!


More to Enjoy

  • Tequila Raiders
  • Rum Raiders
  • Gin Raiders

Missouri Drops Bomb on Jägermeister, Levies $11.75 Million Fine on Spirits Brand for Franchise Law Violations


Jägermeister was ordered to pay $11.75 million in damages after a Missouri federal jury found the company in violation of the state’s Franchise Act. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Jägermeister was ordered to pay $11.75 million in damages after a Missouri federal jury found Mast-Jägermeister in violation of the state’s Franchise Act. The German liquor company attempted to “terminate without cause” its relationship with family-owned Missouri beverage distributor Major Brands, which was the distributor of Jägermeister in Missouri, and replace it with national distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, according to Law360.

In addition to the $11.75 million in damages, Jägermeister had to pay for Major Brands’ attorney fees and staff expenses.

Missouri is one of about 17 states that has alcohol franchise laws, which are designed to stop one entity from dominating alcohol sales by requiring producers to have good cause to end relationships with their distributors.

“The jury saw through Jägermeister’s false argument that the Missouri Alcohol Franchise Law did not apply to them because of their size,” said Major Brands’ attorney, Richard B. Walsh of Lewis Rice LLC.

The jury also agreed with Major Brands’ claim of tortious interference against Southern Glazer’s and Southern Glazer’s Missouri, as well as its claim of civil conspiracy in violation of the Missouri Alcohol Franchise Law against Southern Glazer’s, Southern Glazer’s Missouri and Mast-Jägermeister US Inc.

Mast-Jägermeister claimed that it had no legally protected relationship with Major Brands, and Southern Glazer’s asserted that it did not induce the termination of Major Brands. The jury disagreed with those claims.

“Most importantly, this case again reaffirms the Missouri Franchise Law and the investments and relationships we build with our suppliers and retailers over decades, as well as the fact that we are a Missouri company that plays by the rules,” Major Brands’ chairwoman and CEO Sue McCollum said in a memo to her company, according to Law360.

The verdict confirms that companies of all sizes must comply with the Missouri Alcohol Franchise Law, Walsh said, per Law360.

Here at Whiskey Raiders, we do more than write about current events in whiskey. We are the only media property reviewing whiskeys and aggregating the scores and reviews of other significant voices in the whiskey world in one place. If you’re interested in getting a shot of whiskey in your morning email, sign up for our Daily Dram Gram!

This post may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site. This helps support Whiskey Raiders at no additional cost to you.

Filed Under:

Follow Whiskey Raiders:

David Morrow is the Editor In Chief of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.