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Poland Spring Water a 'Fraud,' Argues Class-Action Lawsuit

Image: Poland Spring Water a 'Fraud,' Argues Class-Action Lawsuit

A bottle of Poland Spring water rests on a granite slab in East Derry, N.H., Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By    |   Friday, 18 August 2017 06:03 AM

Poland Spring water is a fraud, the plaintiffs of a class-action lawsuit is alleging against owner Nestle Waters.

Eleven consumers are involved in the lawsuit filed in Connecticut, where Nestle is headquartered, and they're claiming that Poland Spring bottles are mislabeled as spring water. The suit seeks $5 million in damages, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The water does not come from springs at all, but from "ordinary groundwater" from wells, the suit argues.

In the 325-page lawsuit filed in U.S. district court, the plaintiffs accuse Poland Spring of "a colossal fraud perpetuated against American consumers" by suggesting that the water is of high quality when "not one drop" of it supposedly complies with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's definition of what constitutes spring water, according to Fortune magazine.

The lawsuit also claims that the collection sites for the water are near landfills, Courthouse News Service wrote.

"Unknown to the general public, one or more wells at each of defendant's six largest volume groundwater collection sites in Maine . . .  are near a present or former human waste dump, refuse pit, landfill, ash pile, salt mound, farm where pesticides were previously used, fish hatchery or toxic petroleum dump site," the complaint states.

The Press Herald reported that Nestle Water originally collected water from Poland Spring in Maine, but now draws the water from sources throughout state.

A spokesperson for Nestle Waters North America pushed back, telling the Press Herald that the lawsuit filed was "without merit" and "obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain."

"Poland Spring is 100 percent spring water," the spokesperson said. "It meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations defining spring water, all state regulations governing spring classification for standards of identity, as well as all federal and state regulations governing spring water collection, good manufacturing practices, product quality and labeling. We remain highly confident in our legal position."

This month, Nestle Waters North America filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and presented a letter from the State of Maine Drinking Water Progam bolstering its case.

"We recently received a letter from the State of Maine Drinking Water Program (DWP) that affirms that all eight of the Poland Spring Brand springs in Maine 'meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) definition of spring water,'" a spokesperson for Nestle Waters North America said in a statement.

"The DWP, which is the state agency that enforces the implementation of FDA rules about bottled water in Maine, has issued these letters to us in the past. This most recent letter verifies that all eight of the spring water sources are approved in the State of Maine. Consumers can be confident in the accuracy of the labels on every bottle of Poland Spring, and that Poland Spring is just what it says it is — 100 percent natural spring water. The DWP letter is further validation of this important fact, despite the allegations of opportunistic attorneys in their baseless lawsuits."

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Poland Spring water is a fraud, the plaintiffs of a class-action lawsuit is alleging against owner Nestle Waters.
poland spring, water, fraud
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2017-03-18
Friday, 18 August 2017 06:03 AM
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