Harrison County

Barqs heir back on speaking terms with son after lawsuit settled

Barry Barq and wife, Kitty, are shown at a Biloxi Yacht Club event. The Barqs have settled a lawsuit with his mother, Lou Ella Barq, 91, widow of the last family president of Barq’s root beer.
Barry Barq and wife, Kitty, are shown at a Biloxi Yacht Club event. The Barqs have settled a lawsuit with his mother, Lou Ella Barq, 91, widow of the last family president of Barq’s root beer.

The 91-year-old matriarch of the Barq’s root beer family has settled a lawsuit she filed against her son over her inheritance.

“They’re still neighbors, they’re still living their lives,” said Nathan Prescott, attorney for Barry Barq, the only child of Lou Ella Barq and the late William Adolph Barq, who died in 2002. “It’s all over. It’s concluded.”

Reached at her home, Lou Ella Barq said she would need to talk to her grandchildren before making any comment. She did say she and her son are speaking.

Prescott said Barry Barq wanted people to know the lawsuit was settled, because the Sun Herald had reported on the case at SunHerald.com and on the front page of a Sunday newspaper.

“I think because of the publicity that the original suit received, Barry would like the public to know that he is no longer being sued by his mother,” Prescott said. Terms on the settlement, reached in Chancery Court, are confidential.

Lou Ella Barq claimed in the lawsuit she was in financial straits because her son used a power of attorney she’d granted him after her husband’s death to gain access to her assets and take almost $1.3 million. She wanted him to repay almost $1.5 million, which included income from interest lost as the principal was depleted.

Lou Ella Barq and her son are backyard neighbors in a subdivision off Popp’s Ferry Road in West Biloxi. Lou Ella Barq’s husband was the last family president of Barq’s root beer, now owned by The Coca-Cola Co.

The Barqs have been very much part of the Biloxi business and social scene since Edward C. Barq Sr. moved here in 1897 and bottled his first Barq’s.

The great-grandson of Barq’s founder, Barry Barq was king of the Mardi Gras Krewe of Neptune in 2014 and commodore of the Biloxi Yacht Club in 2013.

Barry Barq and his wife, also named in the lawsuit, denied any wrongdoing. He said in court papers that he handled his mother’s finances at her request and with “clean hands.”

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

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