A former employee of LaCroix claims executives at its parent company were conflicted over an announcement that their cans were free of toxic chemicals.
According to a lawsuit filed in Passaic Superior Court, Albert Dejewski in early 2019 believed his supervisor, National Beverage Corp. President Joseph Caporella, "had decided to prematurely announce that the LaCroix cans would be BPA-free going forward, months before the true production date, in order to drive positive buzz and awareness for the suffering brand."
Dejewski, then the vice president of Commercial Development & Engagement, claims the company was at least four to six months away from actually producing the new toxic-free cans.
Shares of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company were down sharply.
The sparkling water company at the time faced lawsuits over its labels stating their product is "all natural."
When asked by other senior-level executives to address the alleged issue, Dejewski said he was fired after sending an email expressing his concerns over the announcement.
"Caporella explicitly stated that Dejewski had violated his trust by questioning his decision to falsely state that the LaCroix cans were now BPA-free when they were not, and that is why he was being terminated."
In a statement provided to FoxBusiness, a spokesperson for the National Beverage said the company began converting to BPA-free liners in 2017, "and continued as suppliers were able to supply cans. As of April 2019, all cans produced for LaCroix products were produced without BPA liners."
"False statements were made in litigation brought by a former employee seeking to extract a monetary recovery from the company. We intend to vigorously defend our company and our brands against false claims brought by this disgruntled former employee."
The company notes the FDA's position that BPA liners are safe, posing no risk to consumers.
Dejewski is seeking damages for lost salary and attorney's fees.