HOUSTON (CN) – A “hydrogen-rich structured water” purveyor claims in court that defamation from a self-styled water treatment expert derailed its contract with the government of Fiji to bottle spring water there.
Click here to read Courthouse News’ Environmental Law Review.
V3 Waters International, PacificNorthAM and Robert Beam sued Burk-Elder Hale III dba Bionaid Waters dba Top 5 Investments dba Zaya LLC in Harris County Court.
V3 wants $3 billion in damages.
Hale, who lives in Catoosa County, Ga., apparently is known by many other names, as the complaint lists 15 akas for him, including Elder Hale III aka Burk Elder III aka Elder of Clan NA Hale aka I Am Burk-Elder, the Third of Clan NA Hale aka Royal Priest of the Order of Melchisedec.
Beam makes a long list of claims for his “structured water” in his complaint. Citing an affidavit from himself, he claims: “In short, V3 is the ultimate antioxidant as it protects cellular integrity, including DNA function, and is a perfectly engineered pH balanced functional water formulated to reduce stress, improve memory, detoxify, hydrate and energize the human body, mind and spirit.”
Beam claims he met Hale through (nonparty) Steven Hall, Ph.D., a water treatment specialist he hired “to engineer a hydrogen-rich structured water to be sold under the copyright ‘V3.'”
The complaint states: “During the aforesaid interaction between Dr. Hall, Beam and Hale, and many times thereafter in the subsequent months and up through a portion of 2012, Hale represented that he had expert knowledge and experience in the same specialized area of water treatment and production as Beam and Dr. Hall and that through his companies, named defendants, including Burk Hale Inc. and BHI, he manufactured, produced, bottled, distributed and/or sold to customers across the nation, including Texas water products including a product commonly known as Bionaid, which, in essence, is alleged to be a dietary supplement used in water enhancement.
“As such, Beam began to integrate Hale into various water production and distribution businesses he either owned and/or operated, including V3 Waters and Pacific NorthAM.”
Beam claims he sent Hale trade secrets including “the technology, ingredients, health benefits and marketing strategy of V3 Waters,” and Hale posted the information on websites, in violation of non-disclosure agreements.
With the permission of Pacific NorthAM directors (nonparties) Sumar Prasad and Rajit Pathak, Beam says, he also gave Hale proprietary information about the company’s plans to bottle water from Naseyani Springs in Fiji, and sell it under the “Fiji Pristine” label.
“The subject of this confidential and proprietary trade secret information was a business transaction between Pacific NorthAM and the Unit Trust of Fiji (‘UTOF’) – a governmental entity in Fiji with the authority to enter into a transaction such as this on behalf of the native people of the Village of Naseyani,” the complaint states.
“Such transaction would grant Pacific NorthAM the sole right to produce, bottle at the source, sell and export water from the twelve (12) Naseyani Springs located in Naseyani, Rakiraki, Fiji under the copyright (or future copyright) ‘Fiji Pristine.’
“Said transaction was negotiated, funded and almost closed with the acquiescence and approval of the Chief and the Natives of Naseyani.”
Beam says the trade secrets he sent Hale included a marketing video he produced during a trip to Fiji. He claims Hale “illegally modified” and posted the video online.
Hale and his companies agreed to distribute V3, while Beam agreed to distribute Hale’s Bionaid product in Texas and Fiji, Beam says.
But Beam says the deal went south.
“Within a few weeks to a month or so of entering the aforesaid contracts and receipt of the confidential and proprietary information and documentation referenced above, defendants began unauthorized contact with Prasad and Pathak, Beam’s partners in Fiji Pristine, requesting money for services Pacific NorthAM had not retained defendants to perform and ordering the execution of non-disclosure agreements regarding Bionaid for which Pacific NorthAM had no business dealings with whatsoever,” the complaint states.
“Hale’s conduct was so bizarre and disconcerting to Beam, Prasad and Pathak, that they, on behalf of Pacific NorthAM, terminated any further communication with defendants regarding any potential future business dealings.
“As a consequence thereof, defendant Hale, individually, and in his representative capacity for his businesses, went on a rampage maliciously attacking Robert Beam personally for what is clearly no other purpose than to ensure Pacific NorthAM’s Fiji Pristine never hit the shelves and to destroy any chance plaintiffs had for the production and sale of V3 or any other water product in the healthy water industry.
“It began with, and has continued to date, with the libel and slander of Robert Beam, individually and the disparagement of his businesses by, including, without limitation, setting up blogging websites such as ‘cityofhargrave.com,’ ‘thetorturewatch.com,’ ‘fijisilenced.com,’ ‘intelligentsiya.blogspot.com’ and/or ‘truthforfiji.com’ along with various postings on Facebook and YouTube, among other publications, falsely representing that plaintiffs were causing ‘GENOCIDE’ in Fiji, that plaintiffs’ ‘spring-water scam RESULTS IN ILLNESS And DEATHS of Native Fijians likened to Africa’s ‘Blood Diamonds’ terrorism,’ that Beam is involved in ‘Terrorist activity’ and that Beam is associated with a ‘Black Angel’ (pointing to one of the natives of Naseyani) which he alleges is an individual who has a ‘license to kill’ from the Fijian government and that ‘LICENSES TO KILL’ were issued as a result of the Fiji Pristine project.” (Parentheses in complaint, some emphases omitted.)
Beam claims Hale set out to destroy his businesses “over a mere $750.00 which he alleges Beam owes him.”
Beam adds: “(He) did anything and everything to try and stop defendants’ actions and omissions including paying $750.00 which he did not owe in an effort to cajole Hale, contacting YouTube and explaining that defendants’ conduct was illegal; and sending a demand before brining this lawsuit; however, unfortunately all of his efforts were to no avail.
“Vilash Chand of the UTOF revoked the offer to enter into the joint venture agreement with Pacific NorthAM, the meeting with the Fijian government to execute same was canceled and the ground-breaking ceremony scheduled for the spring of 2012 never occurred – all to the complete and utter dismay, not to mention near insolvency, of plaintiffs.
“Moreover, while the loss of the Fiji Pristine transaction is certainly one thing, now, as of November 15, 2012, V3’s bottling facility in California began the production, bottling and labeling of V3; however, each and every day, numerous times a day, Beam is notified by investors and/or distributors and/or retailers that they are unwilling to do business with V3 Waters and/or purchase V3 because of the negative, derogatory, false and defamatory content published by defendants on the Internet.”
Beam seeks more than $3 billion in damages for breach of contract, defamation, tortious interference, business disparagement, conversion and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
He also wants an injunction ordering Hale to stop all disparaging comments about him and his companies, and to remove his defamatory publications from the Internet.
Beam is represented by Suzanne DuBose with Godwin Lewis in Houston.
Melchizedec was a priest-king in Book XIV of Genesis.
- Not Vulnerable Enough
- Shareholder Derivative