Coors versus Bud Suit Draws to Mysterious Close

October 28, 2005 ( - An unusual lawsuit centering on a company's right to regulate an employee's off-duty behavior is apparently over without any clear indication who won.

The Denver Post reported that an attorney for Ross Hopkins asked that Hopkins’ lawsuit against Budweiser distributor American Eagle Distributing Company be ended.

That was days before the scheduled October 31 start of a trial in the case alleging that American Eagle improperly let the 41-year-old Hopkins go in May 2003 after he was seen drinking a Coors beer while wearing a Budweiser cap and criticizing his company (See Coors Drinking CO Man Sues over Budweiser Firing ). Hopkins had served as a warehouse supervisor.

According to the Post report, lawyers for both sides declined to give any details of a settlement, if any.

Hopkins’ lawyer Britton Morrell noted the case was full of “he said, she said” allegations, the Post said.

According to the news report, Julie and Jamie McCawley – the daughter and son-in-law of American Eagle’s president – saw Hopkins drinking a Coors at the bar and offered to buy him a Budweiser. When Hopkins declined the Bud, words were exchanged. Julie McCawley claimed Hopkins was bad-mouthing the company and using profanity while wearing a Budweiser cap.

Hopkins, asserted that he had a Coors because it was given to him by accident by a waitress. The case drew national attention over the rights of companies to regulate the lives of their employees during their off-hours.