Whiskey fungus nuisance case against Diageo can move ahead

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A federal appeals court ruling will let a lawsuit against liquor giant Diageo move forward.

According to court papers, Diageo Americas Supply distills and ages whiskey at warehouses in Louisville. That process results in tons of ethanol emissions.

The suit filed by Louisville residents claims those emissions are a nuisance because they cause a black fungus to form on nearby properties. The fungus is known as whiskey fungus and thrives in ethanol-rich environments.

The plaintiffs want an injunction that would require Diageo to curb its ethanol emissions.

Diageo argued that the nuisance claims were pre-empted by the federal Clean Air Act. On Monday, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that argument.

The case now goes back to the district court for further proceedings.