Nestle has been fighting to have the Poland Spring water lawsuit dismissed, but a judge has denied the company’s request. Consumers are seeking damages because the company failed to disclose that the product did not meet state requirements. In response, a Nestle spokesperson called the case “meritless” and said the company will continue to fight the suit. But is Nestle really at fault? What are their reasons? And what can they do to avoid being sued?
In a recent court filing, Nestle responded to a class-action lawsuit filed by consumers alleging that its “100% Natural Spring Water” bottled water is not derived from a pure spring. The lawsuit asserts that Nestle deceived consumers and diluted its product with ordinary groundwater. It wants the company to stop labeling its water “spring water” and ensure that consumers get the most natural product possible.
A recent lawsuit filed by environmental groups and consumers alleges that Nestle deceived American consumers into believing that the water used to make its products comes from a spring. This spring is actually located in a gravel pit, which makes it difficult for Nestle to collect the water from the area. Instead, the company pumps the water from the most heavily populated areas of Maine and advertises it as being from a natural spring.
In a 325-page lawsuit filed in Connecticut on Thursday, consumers allege that Nestle Waters falsely advertises Poland Spring Water as a “100% natural spring water.” In reality, the company is using six fake man-made springs to make its product. The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages and a permanent injunction against the company. Nestle maintains that the claims in the lawsuit are legitimate and defended its business practices.
Nestle Waters, the company that owns Poland Spring, has settled a 2003 Connecticut lawsuit, which claimed the water used to make its products were not sourced deep in the Maine woods. In a bid to expand into Maine, Nestle has sought state approval to use a public water district well in Lincoln, Maine that once served a paper mill. This new source of water will not meet consumer concerns over contamination and safety, but it may sway consumers.
Nestle Waters has responded to an FDA lawsuit against its Poland Spring bottled water brand by claiming that it is 100 percent natural spring water, not common groundwater. The company filed the 325-page lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Connecticut. A judge has now allowed the lawsuit to proceed. The lawsuit claims that Poland Spring bottled water is not free of contaminants. Nestle says the water is naturally filtered and bottled to make it safe for consumption.
The FDA has issued guidance to states on whether the water products meet federal standards. Poland Spring was one of several products that were manufactured in the state during the long-running drought in the state. As a result, it is considered higher-quality water and sold for a higher price. The lawsuit was initially filed in August 2017. However, the judge dismissed it in May 2018 based on preemption. While the case is still ongoing, the company faces a potential re-trial.
State of Maine
A class-action lawsuit filed by the State of Maine against Nestle Waters North America over its Polish spring water has been dismissed. The company argues that it did not violate the law by collecting water from the Poland springs. However, the plaintiffs argue that the water that was used to fill bottles is not spring water. A spokesperson for the company denied these claims. The company will continue its fight in court. The lawsuit alleges false advertising, deceptive labeling, and breach of contract. It also alleges that the company overcharged consumers for the product.
The State of Maine sued Poland Spring in 2003 for false advertising. The water from the Poland springs is actually common groundwater. In 2003, Nestle hired hydro-geologists to investigate the water’s origin. They discovered that the source of Poland Spring is a former trash dump, below an illegal disposal site, and that human sewage has been used for years as fertilizer. After the investigation, Nestle agreed to pay a settlement that includes a $10 million donation to charity over 5 years. Despite this, Poland Spring continues to sell the same Maine water under its Poland spring name.
Nestle’s business practices
A new lawsuit has come to light over the practices of the company that owns Poland Spring. The company, which has recently moved its U.S. headquarters to Washington D.C., oversees the production of dozens of still and sparkling water brands. Their lineup of products includes Deer Park, Acqua Panna, Perrier, San Pellegrino, and bottled water called Poland Spring. The company sources its water from eight different springs, including the spring that drew Poland Spring.
While the case is ongoing, potential buyers of the Poland Spring brand are likely to be watching closely. Any negative impact on its image may impact the division’s future sales or sell price. While Nestle cannot yet predict the effects of a settlement, it’s important to keep in mind that another false advertising conviction could affect perceptions of other brands in the company’s portfolio. The company could lose a valuable brand by fudge-making on the nature of its water supply.