Suit: Pure Life H2O complaint brought death threats

Posted: March 18, 2014

A PHILLY WOMAN who called Nestle's customer-service department to inquire about the fluoride content in her Nestle Pure Life water was "threatened with a bloody death" by the customer representative who took her call, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Common Pleas Court.

Shimrit Ellis claims that on Aug. 5, 2012, she called Nestle's customer service with concerns about the "possible health ramifications" of the fluoride in the bottled water she purchased.

Her call was answered by a woman. Although the lawsuit doesn't detail any animosity between Ellis and the customer-service representative during the conversation, shortly after the call Ellis said she started getting "very graphic and violent death threats" on her phone from a woman, according to the suit.

The caller threatened Ellis by saying, "I finally found where you live and watched you go to work. You're going to die" and "People are going to watch the blood drain from you when I stab you with a knife," the suit said.

Ellis claims the calls happened about three times a week for a month, forcing her to turn to the Philadelphia Police Department for help. Police subpoenaed Ellis' phone records and traced the calls to Pamela Vaughan, the Nestle Tollhouse Call Center employee who took her call, according to the suit.

"Pamela Vaughan was so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go beyond the pale of decency as is regarded as intolerable in a civilized society," Ellis' attorney, Warren Siegel, wrote in the suit.

It does not appear that Vaughan was ever charged with a crime in Philadelphia in connection with this case, according to online court records. It's unclear if she was charged elsewhere.

Ellis and Siegel did not immediately return requests for comment yesterday.

The civil suit is against Vaughan, Nestle, its call center and related agencies.

Ellis claims she has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from the calls.

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