WATERVILLE — A Waterville man is suing General Mills, Inc. for $250,000, claiming he got sick after using red Betty Crocker measuring spoons for cooking and the emblems fell off into his batter.

Gregory Paul Violette says in court papers filed Sept. 13 in Kennebec County Superior Court that in July this year, he bought two sets of measuring spoons which he uses for a coconut oil and peanut butter mixture he eats daily and found that the Betty Crocker emblem was coming off two tablespoons he had been using.

“On or about July 21, 22, 2018, I got very sick and the doctor said it was from the paint of the emblems on the Betty Crocker measuring spoons,” the complaint, dated Sept. 13, says. “I was very sick for three days and I have stopped using the two measuring spoons and replaced them with different spoons. I have not been able to deal with the emblems coming off the spoons and getting sick. The problem has increased my mental illness the last two weeks and I have had to start going to the VA for my mental illness getting worse since getting sick. I have been seen at the VA mental health services since August 10, 2018 and I am continuing treatment.”

Violette declined to comment when contacted by phone Monday.

“My comment is, ‘Do not contact me again — I’m not interested,'” he said.

Violette, who is representing himself in the case, is asking the court for $250,000 in punitive damages and exemplary damage, claiming the product was faulty. He also seeks attorney fees and court costs and any other relief the court deems just.

Meanwhile, General Mills filed a notice in Superior Court dated Sept. 13 requesting the court proceed no further unless and until the action is remanded to state court. A lengthy answer to Violette’s complaint, filed Sept. 13 in U.S. District Court, says the company denies the allegations and asks the complaint be dismissed. It also says General Mills is incorrectly being sued as Betty Crocker, General Mills, Inc.

The answer, signed by attorney Brian P. Voke of Campbell, Campbell Edwards & Conroy, P. C., of Boston, says General Mills lacks knowledge or information to substantiate Violette’s claims that he purchased Betty Crocker measuring spoons and found the Betty Crocker emblem was coming off. The company denies those claims, as well as Violette’s claims that he got sick and the doctor said it was from the emblem paint.

The answer details other reasons that the lawsuit should be dismissed.

“At all times material to the complaint, the product at issue was not defective, hazardous, unreasonably dangerous, or unsafe when it left the possession, custody, and control of General Mills,” it says.

Voke was not in his office Monday afternoon, according to a woman who answered the phone there. He did not immediately return a message left for him seeking comment.

Violette has filed several other suits in Waterville District Court, including a case against the head trader and founder of a Pennsylvania company who handles customer complaints and refund requests. The complaint, filed Aug. 8, says Violette paid a membership fee of $99 to the company and then requested a refund but refused to give a reason. While the company policy does not require a refund be given, the founder agreed to give one anyway, but Violette refused to withdraw his lawsuit.

In another case, Violette is suing a Florida company, claiming he was sent a card in the mail with an order form on one side and a photo of a nude person on the other, and a brochure with three other nude photos. Violette is seeking $250,000 in that case and said in the complaint that he has been very sick from seeing the nude photos.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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