On Monday, a California judge declined to drop a lawsuit by rapper Snoop Dogg against Pabst Brewing Co. over his endorsement for the company's Pabst's Colt 45 brand. As part of his deal, the rapper was promised an up-front fee, royalty payments, and a phantom equity clause worth 10 percent of the proceeds from any sale of the Colt 45 brand. In 2014, as part of a $700 million deal, the brewer's grandparent company sold its stock to a third party that now owns the brewer. The questions of whether Snoop Dogg is owed proceeds from that sale will be addressed in a jury trial set for October.
"Pabst is trying to pull a fast one and argue that even though they sold this company for close to $700 million, they didn't really sell the company," Venable partner Alex Weingarten, who represents Snoop Dogg, said in a statement following the ruling. "It is preposterous and just like the Judge saw through this nonsense today, we are confident that a jury will agree at our upcoming trial." He also pointed out that the company's former owner admitted under oath that the sale should have triggered the phantom equity clause in Snoop Dogg's contract.
News of the victory was also featured in the Daily Journal, Law360, Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, The Boombox, and Allhiphop. In addition to Weingarten, associate Matthew Gurvitz also represents Snoop Dogg in the matter.