The family of former home run champion Roger Maris will receive at least $120 million in cash from Anheuser-Busch as part of a settlement that ended a defamation trial and other litigation, according to a government filing yesterday.
The Marises had won a $50 million jury award against the nation's largest brewer in 2001 for ending their beer distributorship contract in 1997. That award had been tied up on appeal.
Anheuser-Busch spokesman Rick Oleshak said he couldn't comment. But a spokesman for the Maris family's attorneys said the actual settlement was higher than $120 million.
"That is only part of the settlement," said Tom McNicholas. "It's nowhere near the totality of the agreement between the Maris family and Anheuser-Busch."
Maris's relatives accused the St. Louis-based company of defamation after company officials publicly said the family's distributorship was deficient and sold repackaged, out-of-date beer. The family claimed in court that the brewer plotted to destroy their reputation as a part of a larger scheme to seize the best-performing distributors for Busch family relatives and friends. Anheuser-Busch denied the allegation.
* SOCCER: There was no celebrating in the stands after Inter Milan's Champions League qualifier.
Inter's 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk, which gave the Italian team a 3-1 aggregate win, was played in Milan's empty San Siro stadium because of a ruling that bars fans from Inter's first four Champions League matches. The penalty was assessed by the Union of European Football Associations after AC Milan goalkeeper Dida was hit by a flare thrown by a fan during a quarterfinal against Inter last season.
"You can't play soccer like this. It's unbelievable," Coach Roberto Mancini said. "The team was very tense having to play without fans."
Fans were allowed in before the match to place banners in the stands, but then had to watch the game on a giant video screen outside the stadium.
In all, there were fewer than 500 people allowed in the 80,000-seat stadium, including the teams, referees, management, stadium workers, police, journalists and photographers. . . .
Former European soccer champions Manchester United and Ajax also qualified for the group stage of the Champions competition.
* TENNIS: Juan Ignacio Chela overcame a big deficit in the tiebreaker and upset top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko,6-1, 7-6 (7-5), in the second round of the Pilot Pen tournament in New Haven, Conn.
-- From News Services