Tribe to sue beer companies for alcohol problems

LINCOLN, Neb. - An American Indian tribe says it will sue some of the world's largest beer makers for knowingly contributing to alcohol-related problems on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota announced Thursday it will demand $500 million from five international beer manufacturers for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation caused by chronic alcoholism on the reservation.

The lawsuit also targets four off-site beer stores in Whiteclay, Neb., a town with a population of about a dozen people on the South Dakota border that sells nearly 5 million cans of beer annually.

The Connecticut-sized reservation has struggled with alcoholism and poverty for generations, despite an alcohol ban since 1832. Pine Ridge legalized alcohol in 1970, but restored the ban two months later.

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