If a Hollywood movie was ever to be made about Nestle Waters of North America, the tiny town of Fryeburg, ME would nicely fill the role of a compelling underdog – the tiny town that stood up to the predatory multinational.
Nestle has sued the rural town of Fryeburg five times in an attempt to install a truck loading station in a residential area, and while Nestle never intended to do so, they’ve created an Alamo-esque rallying point for those fighting Nestle’s depredations in other areas.
They’ve also created $39,000 in legal costs, $21,000 of which need to be paid off. From the Water in the News blog:
At each and every board or court appearance (click for Timeline), Western Maine Residents for Rural Living has countered Nestlé’s legal army with reply briefs. We are forced by Nestlé to engage them in this arena which by both its complexities, costs and time would be overwhelming for most. We have stood our ground and have stayed the course. We have been fortunate to have one of the best law firms in Maine representing us, Verrill Dana PLLC and its partner Atty. Scott Anderson. Forty months of litigation and no permit issued.
Western Maine Residents for Rural Living have done much more than just fight a local land use issue. Their persistence has brought attention to a nationwide battle with Nestlé. Momentum, resolve, persistence and commitment–whatever you call it–Fryeburg has demonstrated it can be done.
In the past, I’ve suggested that Nestle’s bizarre, over-the-top
string of lawsuits against Fryeburg weren’t so much designed to win a
legal challenge as they were to bankrupt those opposing their
residentially sited truck loading zone – and to serve as a warning to
other small towns thinking of opposing Nestle.
Today, I stick by that analysis, and fear that unless some money is quickly raised, Nestle could win this one.
If you want to help, this is the contact information posted in the original blog post:
Checks should be made payable to: “Verrill Dana, PLLC”
Please note in the memo: “WMRRL”
30 Hemlock Bridge Road
Fryeburg, Maine 04037
Thank you. Contacts: (207) 935-3811 and firstname.lastname@example.org (Emily Fletcher, Fryeburg).
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