updated 5/7/2007 4:35:35 PM ET 2007-05-07T20:35:35

A Brazilian court has ordered a brewer to pay $49,000 to an alcoholic beer taster who said he drank more than 3 pints of beer a day.

The unidentified employee alleged that the company did not provide the health measures needed to keep him from developing alcoholism, a labor court in the Rio Grande do Sul state said in a statement Friday.

The employee said in his lawsuit that for more than a decade, he drank 16 to 25 small glasses of beer during his eight-hour shifts at the company

He also said he received a bottle of beer after each shift.

An initial ruling had favored Ambev, or Companhia de Bebidas das Americas, which can still appeal the decision. The local brewing company alleged the employee already was an alcoholic before becoming a beer taster.

Judge Jose Felipe Ledur said the company still was negligent because an alcoholic should never have been made a beer taster.

Ledur also said the employee's alcohol dependency had worsened in recent years and that even on vacation, the employee felt like drinking the same amount of beer he drank at work.

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