Suing the Bottle Bill

ALBANY—They've been making noise about how they hate the expanded bottle deposit law, and now a coalition of bottlers has filed a lawsuit in federal court over the issue.

The suit—filed in federal court in Manhattan—lists David Paterson, Andrew Cuomo and commissioners Robert Megna, Patrick Hooker and Pete Grannis as defendants.

It alleges that the state law violates the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution by requiring New York-specific UPC labels, as well as the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the expansion covered bottle water, but not juice or iced tea.

"New York has no plausible rational basis for treating water to which a sugar has been added differently from other types of water and therefore the Bottle Bill's definition of "water" violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment," the suit asserts.

A Paterson spokeswoman declined to comment on the suit. There is general recognition among state leaders that the bottle bill needs to be amended to address the UPC issue, but that opening has reignited the fight over the issue, with some groups using the excuse as a way to go after the measure's substance.

The suit seeks an injunction against the bottle bill, which bottlers hope will be granted before the law takes effect June 1.

Also interesting: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a board member of the group Riverkeeper, filed a declaration supporting the lawsuit and opposing the bottle bill expansion. It turns out he also owns a bottled-water company.

But why would a Kennedy take a shot at David Paterson?

Nestle Bottle Bill Complaint Nestle Bottle Bill Complaint JimmyVielkind

Suing the Bottle Bill