Anheuser-Busch Could Be Next

In this age of class-action lawsuits, readers are telling JJC they think the beer purveyor could be next.
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Here's a scary thought. The other day when I did my

piece about how the plaintiffs' mass tort bar has decided to ruin a whole host of industries, I got a ton of email about how the real target will be


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Holy cow, I thought, what a natural target. Aggrieved class. Rich. Tries to be a corporate good guy with those sweet responsibility ads, but that won't wash when the mass tort bar comes to shove. (Just think, if the board people had done a board on that story, we would have had this one!!)

I thought to myself, hmmm, maybe put out some Anheuser-Busch on the theory that, why not, we now have a national law firm, outfitted by the great

David Boies

, that could bring these alcohol makers to their knees in a flash. They would be helpless if these guys are even thinking about going after them.

After all, since the big tobacco win, these guys are now better capitalized than any corporation and they don't have to worry about answering to shareholders or paying dividends. Why not set their sights on those who sell an obviously intoxicating product that has hurt millions of families?

You sue on behalf of all of those injured by drunk drivers. You sue on behalf of all families of alcoholics. You sue on behalf of the colleges that have students die of alcohol poisoning. You sue on behalf of all the children who might have had a beer because they liked the frogs.

The painful thing about all of this is that, if it were true, what would you do if you owned Anheuser-Busch? Look what happened to

United Health

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even though it hasn't been sued by anybody. Check out


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, that old hat-sizer. These tort guys are out for blood. They are taking no prisoners. I have made a bunch of calls about why Anheuser-Busch is down. Nobody knows why.

I sure as heck hope it isn't that these lawyers mentioned to their buddies that Anheuser-Busch is next for the plaintiff sucker punch. There hasn't been a lot of put activity, something that probably would be the case if someone in the press knew something. But who knows where this roving band of anti-capitalists will strike next?

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at