A lawsuit claims that Poland Spring Water is deceiving consumers with evergreen labels that say their bottle contains “100 percent natural spring water” that hails from Maine.
The legal complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Connecticut claims that parent company Nestle Waters North America is bottling common groundwater that doesn’t meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's definition of spring water.
"For more than twenty years, Nestle Waters' marketing and sales of Poland Spring Water has been a colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers," alleged the lawsuit, which seeks class-action status on behalf of all those affected.
"To consumers, 'spring water' from a naturally occurring spring signifies purity and high quality and commands a premium price compared to Defendant's non-spring drinking water products or filtered tap water," added the lawsuit. To illicitly capture that premium, Defendant, since it began selling the Poland Spring brand in 1993, has bottled common groundwater and illegally mislabeled it as '100% Natural Spring Water.'"
A Nestle Waters representative says the water meets all relevant federal and state regulations for spring water.
estle Waters settled a 2003 Connecticut lawsuit claiming Poland Spring’s water was not sourced deep in the Maine woods.
The lawsuit comes as the Stamford, Connecticut-based company embarks on an expansion in Maine, as well as during rising U.S. demand for bottled water.
Nestle is seeking state approval to source water from a public water district well in Lincoln, Maine. The company hopes to pump up to 172 million gallons of water a year from the district well, which once served a now-closed paper mill.
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.