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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 May 2007, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
Alcoholic beer taster gets payout
Man drinking beer (file photo)
The company claims the man was already an alcoholic
A Brazilian brewery has been ordered to pay $49,000 (24,570) to an alcoholic beer taster who claims the company failed to prevent his condition.

The man, who has not been named, said the company, Ambev, did not provide him with adequate health care to stop him from developing alcoholism.

He said that for more than a decade he drank around one and a half litres of beer each day.

But Ambev says that the employee was an alcoholic before he took the job.

The employee says he drank between 16 and 25 small glasses of beer during each eight hour shift at the company, and was also given a bottle of beer at the end of each shift.

An initial ruling favoured Ambev, which claimed the man was already an alcoholic.

But Judge Jose Felipe Ledur said the company was still negligent because an alcoholic should have never been employed as a beer taster.

He added that the man's alcohol dependency had worsened in recent years, and that he felt like drinking the same amount on holiday as he drank at work.

The company still has the right to appeal against the ruling, and decisions are often overturned in Brazilian courts.

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