Nestlé Waters recently came under fire in a lawsuit accusing the company of marketing and selling spring water that doesn’t actually come from a spring.
Have you ever had bottled water that claims to have come from a spring? How do you know it really came from a spring? Would you be surprised to learn that sometimes it doesn’t? At least that’s what a new lawsuit is claiming. According to a class-action lawsuit, “Nestlé Waters’ marketing and sales of what it advertises as 100% Natural Spring Water has been a colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers.” The specific type of bottled water under fire is Poland Spring water.
According to the allegations detailed in the suit, “not one drop of Poland Spring water actually qualifies as spring water.” In fact, it turns out the water is nothing more than “common groundwater that has been illegally mislabeled in order to reap massive undue sales.” The suit goes on to state that “Poland Spring water has become the dominant brand in a market in which it does not even belong.”
Additionally, the suit further alleges that the “Poland Spring in Maine, which the company claims is a source of the water, effectively ran dry nearly 50 years ago.” It also claims the company “built and maintained six phony, man-made ‘springs’ to comply with the law” and argues that “one or more of the company’s wells are near a present or former human waste dump, landfill or other similar sites.”
In response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson for Nestlé Waters North America said it is aware of the suit, but the company has not had a chance to review it. Additionally, the “company insists that its product is 100 percent natural spring water, citing what it called an independent investigation last year by a law firm that confirmed that Poland Spring Brand spring water sources meet all F.D.A. regulations defining spring water.”
The company also pointed out that “various state regulators had already determined that Poland Spring water complies with the Food and Drug Administration’s so-called identity standard and has authorized the labeling and sale of the water as spring water.”
The lawsuit itself was filed in United States District Court in Connecticut and is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages, “as well as a permanent injunction preventing Nestlé Waters from continuing the alleged fraud.”
When commenting on the suit, Steve Williams, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, said, “Water is going to be one of the most important issues in the world. It’s vitally important to consumers to be told the truth.”