FILE - In this May 2, 2014 file photo, Francine Katz
leaves the Civil Court building in St. Louis.
Katz sued Anheuser-Busch in 2009 for gender discrimination, a year after resigning as vice president of communications and consumer affairs for the maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other beers.
Closing arguments are expected Thursday, May 15, 2014 in the case after nearly three weeks of testimony. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A jury will continue deliberations in a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by a former Anheuser-Busch
executive who claims the company paid her
less than half as much as her
The panel of seven woman and five men deliberated four hours Thursday afternoon without reaching a verdict in the case of Francine Katz, who filed suit after she left Anheuser-Busch following its 2008 sale to Belgian brewer InBev.
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, a prominent civil rights activist, was paid.
"She was paid, and paid well, for her position," defense attorney Jim Bennett told jurors during closing arguments Thursday morning, reminding the seven women and five men that Katz reported income of more than $14 million for 2008, an amount that included a severance payment after the company's sale.
The company also argued that Katz
opted to file suit only after she
was passed over for an executive job with InBev and instead offered a position with lesser responsibilities, which she
testified that the new owners' decision played no role in her
choice to sue.
was also the victim of a boys-club mentality that saw her
excluded from corporate jets, corporate golf outings and other social opportunities, her
In a 20-year career during which she
rose from a young corporate lawyer to a role as key strategist and the beer-maker's top female executive, Katz
became the face of her
hometown employer, defending the maker of Budweiser
and Bud Light from overzealous regulators and anti-alcohol campaigns.
has minimized, understated and undervalued the work that Francine Katz
did," Sedey said.
Under Missouri law, at least nine of the 12 jurors must side with Katz
civil claim to prevail.