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Busch Heir Settles Wrongful Death Case for $1.75 Million

Former Anheuser-Busch Inc. Chairman August Busch IV agreed to pay $1.75 million to the family of a woman who died in his home in 2010 to resolve a wrongful death lawsuit.

Most of the money will go to the son of Adrienne Martin, according to a judge’s order approving the agreement filed yesterday in state court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Busch was accused in a lawsuit last year of carelessness and negligence in the death of Martin, who died while a guest at Busch’s home. Her son was 8 at the time.

Busch denied the claims and allegations that he contributed to her death, according to court filings.

“Mr. Busch cared deeply for Adrienne’s son, Blake Martin, and is happy this long and at times bitter legal dispute is finally over,” Maurice Graham, Busch’s attorney, said in an e-mail. “The only remaining issue was the division of the total settlement of $1,750,000. August’s concern was that Blake receive as much of the total settlement as possible.”

John Heisserer, an attorney for Martin’s relatives, didn’t return a voice-mail message yesterday seeking comment on the agreement.

The St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, Robert McCullough, called Martin’s death an accidental overdose at a Feb. 10, 2011, press conference.

In 2008, InBev NV bought Budweiser-maker Anheuser-Busch Cos., based in St. Louis, for $52 billion. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, based in Leuven, Belgium, is the world’s biggest brewer.

The case is Martin v. Busch, 11SL-001294, Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri, 21st Judicial Circuit (Cape Girardeau).

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