Tort Law

Tribe Seeks Injunction to Curb Alcohol Sales Near Reservation

An Indian tribe in South Dakota is asking a federal judge to issue an injunction as part of its suit against companies that make and sell beer in a Nebraska border town.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe has amended its $500 million suit to ask the judge to limit beer sales in Whiteclay to an amount “that can reasonably be consumed in accordance with” Nebraska and tribal laws, report the Lincoln Journal Star and the Associated Press. Alcohol is banned on the tribe’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Whiteclay has fewer than a dozen residents, yet beer sales there equaled about 5 million cans in 2010.

The suit, filed on Feb. 9 in Nebraska federal court, claims beer makers, distributors and retailers sold alcohol in Whiteclay knowing it would reach residents of the reservation. The suit seeks to recover the costs associated with alcoholism, including money spent on health care, social services and criminal prosecutions. The Sioux Falls Argus leader covered the original lawsuit.

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