Nestle Waters North America faces a class action lawsuit over Poland Spring bottled water, claiming that the company actually uses common groundwater in their product, rather than natural spring water as marketing materials indicate.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on August 15, seeking class action status to pursue damages on behalf of all individuals nationwide who purchased Poland Springs water since November 5, 2003.
While Poland Springs Water is marketed as “100 percent natural spring water”, both in advertising and on the product label, the 326 page lawsuit outlines what the the plaintiffs claim has been a “colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers.”
Plaintiffs indicate that the Poland Springs located in Maine have been dry more more than 80 years, while Nestle Waters North America claims the water is from this location, deceitfully mislabeling the bottled water with evergreen labels and indicate it entirely consists of natural spring water.
“Rather than being 100% Natural Spring Water, as Defendant’s labels advertise, and rather than being collected from pristine mountain or forest springs as the images on those labels depict, Poland Spring Water products all contain ordinary groundwater that Defendant collects from wells it drilled in saturated plains or valleys where the water table is within a few feet of the earth’s surface,” the lawsuit indicates.
Eleven plaintiffs are seeking class-action status to receive compensation for individuals who were deceived by false advertising and misbranding labels by Poland Spring Water, who charged premiums for bottled their bottled groundwater that were marketed as natural spring water.
The lawsuit was filed as new research shows bottled water consumption in the U.S. reached a new high of 39.3 gallons per capita last year, topping carbonated soft drinks which fell to 38.5 gallons. The research shows the demand for bottled water is increasing across the U.S.
Nestle Waters says it is within compliance with all U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations regarding the definition of spring water. The manufacturer claimed the lawsuit is without merit and an attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain.”
Poland Spring Water is advertised on the company’s site to collect bottled drinking water from eight springs across Maine, all of which are claimed to be natural spring water.
Recent expansion efforts by Nestle in the state of Maine have consisted of seeking a state approval to retrieve water from a public well in Lincoln, Maine, which was once used as a water source for a now-closed paper mill. Nestle anticipates that it would source nearly 172 million gallons of water a year from the underground well.