Anheuser-Busch discrimination suit in jury’s hands

August Busch III leaves the Civil Courts building in St. Louis, Mo., Friday May 2, 2014, after testifying in a gender discrimination suit brought by former Anheuser-Busch executive Francine Katz. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen)
August Busch III leaves the Civil Courts building in St. Louis, Mo., Friday May 2, 2014, after testifying in a gender discrimination suit brought by former Anheuser-Busch executive Francine Katz. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A jury began deliberating Thursday afternoon in a former Anheuser-Busch executive’s gender discrimination lawsuit against the company.

Francine Katz filed suit soon after she left Anheuser-Busch following its 2008 sale to Belgian brewer InBev. Katz earned roughly $1 million annually after her 2002 promotion to vice president of communications and consumer affairs but is seeking $9.4 million in back pay and damages, plus nearly $5 million in interest and an undetermined amount of punitive damages.

The 56-year-old lawyer said she earned less than half of what her male predecessor was paid.

Anheuser-Busch’s lawyers argued that Katz’s total compensation compared favorably to those in similar positions at other large U.S. corporations.

Missouri law requires at least nine of the 12 jurors to side with Katz for her claim to prevail.

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