St Louis Circuit Court has ruled in favor of wine and spirits distributor Major Brands in a legal dispute against Diageo North America.

In his ruling, St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert Dierker found that Diageo wrongly terminated its contract with Major Brands.

He said the relationship between Major Brands and Diageo was that of a franchise.

The tussle between the two companies began in March 2013, when Diageo sued Major Brands in a Connecticut court.

Major Brands then filed a counter suit against the drinks giant, following which the verdict was given by the St Louis court.

The state franchise law, a 1975 regulation, does not allow alcohol suppliers to terminate wholesalers without a proper cause.

According to Major Brands CEO Sue McCollum, while this is only one of the eight court cases, plus a countersuit, that Major Brands is involved in surrounding the so-called ‘liquor wars,’ or fight surrounding the Missouri Franchise Law, the ruling comes as a win for the company.

"We won a significant victory today with the Court’s determination that Major Brands had a franchise relationship with Diageo and was wrongfully terminated," McCollum added.

The report written by the Judge Dierker reads, "On the whole, the facts and figures in the record indicate that Major Brands often failed to meet goals set by Diageo, but that Diageo never seriously entertained termination of Major Brands’ distributorship until after two significant events: the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Missouri Beverage Co. v. Shelton Bros., Inc., 669 F.3d 873 (8th Cir. 2012), and an offer from Glazer’s of what may be called a very sweet deal to take over Diageo’s Missouri distribution."

In response to the ruling, Diageo said the company is pleased that with the decision of the court, they can now move all of their spirit and wine brands to Glazer’s in Missouri.

The suit will now move to case management conference on 9 August 2013, before heading to the final hearing and jury trial for damages.