Suit calls treatment for water defective

A Naples couple is seeking damages for financial and emotional distress from uranium-tainted water.

By Ann S. Kim [email protected]
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - For more than a year, Theodore and Stacey Sawyer drank uranium-contaminated water, unaware that their water treatment system salesman had doctored the lab report that would have alerted them to the unsafe level of the heavy metal in their well water.

The salesman was convicted of mail fraud in the case last year, and now the Naples couple is suing the manufacturer of the treatment system and the franchisee that sold it to them.

The Sawyers' accusations against Culligan International Co. and Yarmouth-based Water Treatment Equipment, Inc. include violation of the state's Unfair Trade Practices Act, fraud, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, battery and breach of warranty. The Sawyers are seeking unspecified damages for emotional distress, the cost of medical monitoring and the decrease in their home's value. The lawsuit was filed in Cumberland County Superior Court earlier this month.

According to their complaint, the Sawyers have suffered from severe anxiety and major depression and face a greater risk of illness from drinking the uranium-contaminated water. Both require monitoring by nephrologists and cancer specialists, according to their complaint prepared by Jeffrey Talbert, a Portland-based environmental lawyer.

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