The bottled water is marketed as "100% natural spring water", but 11 consumers who filed a suit in CT district court claim the Nestle has been "breaching and exploiting its customers' trust to reap massive undue sales and profits".
Reacting to the lawsuit, a spokeswoman for Nestle Waters North America held true to the company's slogan. Poland Spring water is owned by Nestle, the Swiss based confectionery giant.
"For more than twenty years, Nestle Waters' marketing and sales of Poland Spring Water has been a colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers", the lawsuit claims.
While Poland Springs says its water bottles contain "100 per cent natural spring water" from a source deep in Maine's woods, the complaint filed August 15 in federal court in CT claims that Nestle Waters North America has bottled well water that doesn't meet the US Food and Drug Administration's definition of spring water. "Poland Spring is 100 percent spring water" and meets FDA regulations that define spring water, as well as federal and state regulations governing spring water, according to the company, which also posted a response to the suit on its website. It has never been proven to exist, and the evidence that Defendant itself filed with ME regulators shows it does not exist.
The case is not a first: Nestlé Waters, which owns Poland Spring, was sued 14 years ago on similar claims and another Nestlé Water brand was sued in a similar case in IL in 2012.
"We remain highly confident in our legal position, ' the company said". "Because the Poland Spring is not a source of its products, defendant's use of the "Poland Spring" brand name is unlawful".
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Is your bottle of Poland Spring water really from a spring?
Nestle has run into trouble in other parts of the country as bottled water outpaces soda as the No. 1 drink in the US and as it looks for new water sources.
A lawsuit filed in federal court in CT earlier this week alleges it isn't, calling the Nestle-owned brand label that reads "100% Natural Spring Water" a "colossal fraud".
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The FDA guidelines state a company may pump the water from the spring's underground source, but the spring must still organically reach ground level in order to qualify.
Poland Spring hopes to pump up to 172 million gallons of water a year from a public water district well that once served a now-closed paper mill. "If consumers knew where defendant's wells were actually located, rather than being misled by defendant's falsely reassuring labels depicting pristine scenes, and knew the extent to which defendant treated or purified the water, they would not buy, or would not pay premium prices for, Poland Spring Water products". The suit, which includes claims for breach of contract and fraud, also seeks unspecified damages for violations of state laws including New Jersey, New York and MA. Co-counsel from New Jersey, New York and California also signed the complaint.
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