Nestle Waters is firing back against a class-action lawsuit claiming its Poland Spring bottled water brand is merely common groundwater, not the “100 percent Natural Spring Water” it claims to be.
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Twelve plaintiffs in eight states are suing the company for allegedly diluting its bottled water with regular groundwater and misleading consumers in its marketing and advertising tactics into thinking they're drinking pure spring water.
The lawsuit claims that “not one drop” of Poland Spring water actually qualifies as spring water, The New York Times reports, adding that this mislabeling is “a colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers.”
The 325-page lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut and a judge has ruled that the lawsuit can proceed.
In a statement Monday to FOX Business, a spokesperson for Nestle Waters, which is a unit of the Paris-based Nestle Group, said that “nothing in the Court’s recent decision undermines our confidence in our overall legal position. We will continue to defend our Poland Spring Brand vigorously against this meritless lawsuit.”
Nestle also added that its Poland Spring brand is in fact 100 percent natural spring water.
“In fact, an independent investigation conducted last year by the law firm DLA Piper confirmed that Poland Spring Brand spring water sources meet all FDA regulations defining spring water. Consumers can be confident in the accuracy of the labels on every bottle of Poland Spring®, and that Poland Spring® Brand natural spring water is just what it says it is – 100 percent natural spring water,” the company said.
In addition to alleging false marketing, the lawsuit alleges that the company instead uses water from wells that are “phony, man-made 'springs',” adding that some of those are in fact near former landfills rather than flowing through pristine forests,” NBC News found.
The plaintiffs in the case are from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. They are seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages as well as a permanent injunction preventing Nestle Waters from continuing to sell under the current terms.