"Colossal Fraud": Lawsuit Accuses Poland Spring Of Selling Groundwater

Ever wonder if that bottled mineral water you just spent several dollars on is really mineral water? According to a bombshell new lawsuit filed this week, at least in the case of one company it isn't.

A group of bottled water drinkers has brought a class action lawsuit against Nestle, the company which owns Poland Spring, alleging that the Maine business has long deceived consumers by mislabeling common groundwater. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in a Connecticut federal court and accuses Nestle Waters North America Inc. of a “colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers” the Bangor Daily News reports.

The plaintiffs claim that falsely labeling its "groundwater" product as pure spring water allowed Nestle to sell Poland Spring water at a premium; as a result the consumers who brought the legal action are seeking at least $5 million in monetary damages for a national class and several state subclasses. They requested a jury trial. The civil suit was brought by 11 people from the Northeast who collectively spent thousands of dollars on Poland Spring brand water in recent years. It seeks millions of dollars in damages for a nationwide class and hinges on whether the sources of Poland Spring water meet the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of a spring.

The 325-page lawsuit, which was filed by lawyers from four firms, claims that none of the company’s Maine water sources meets the federal definition for spring water and that the company has “politically compromised” state regulators. Rather than spring water, Nestle Waters is actually purifying and bottling groundwater, some of which comes from sites near waste and garbage dumps, the suit claims. The legal challenge comes as Nestle is looking to expand its operations in Maine.

For instance, the suit claims that the company’s wells in Poland, Maine, have never been scientifically proven to be connected to a spring and draw in surface water, which cannot legally be called spring water. It further alleges that the company has put water from some of these wells through a purification process that disqualifies it as spring water under federal regulations.

 

The suit makes similar claims about Poland Spring water sources in Hollis, Fryeburg, Denmark, Dallas Plantation, Pierce Pond Township and Kingfield.

Poland Spring has gotten away with this deception for years, the suit claims, by co-opting state regulators and interweaving its interests with those of state government. Since 1998 the company has generated millions of dollars for Maine through licensing agreements, and since 2003 it has had an executive on the governor-appointed body that oversees the state drinking-water regulation enforcement agency, the suit states.

The court complaint further says that the Maine Drinking Water Program scientist who approved many of the company’s spring water permits spent a decade working with this executive at a private engineering firm and that the agency failed to get independent proof of the springs’ existence.

In response to the lawsuit, a Nestle Waters spokesperson said that its water meets all relevant federal and state regulations on the classification and collection of spring water and that the suit is “an obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain.”

“The claims made in the lawsuit are without merit. Poland Spring is 100 [percent] spring water.”

This is not the first time that Nestle Waters has faced such allegations. In 2003, it settled a class action lawsuit alleging that Poland Spring water doesn’t come from a spring. In that case, the company did not admit the allegation but agreed to pay about $10 million in discounts to consumers and charity contributions. In other words, pulling a page from Wall Street, it neither admitted, nor denied guilt.

The full lawsuit is below

Comments

MANvsMACHINE Lumberjack Sat, 08/19/2017 - 16:27 Permalink

And DaSani. Aqua Fina owned by PepsiCo and DaSani owned by Coca Cola. Those waters taste like piss in my opinion. I buy Poland Spring exclusively and have for years because I want to be part of the class action suit and collect my $0.03. I have several cases of the fake Poland Spring water in my basement that can be used for evidence at trial. Evidence of what you ask? Evidence that I'm a sucker.

In reply to by Lumberjack

Justin Case DocMims Sat, 08/19/2017 - 14:22 Permalink

It's cheap enough to have yoar water tested by a lab and they'll tell you if it's fit for human consumption. This bottled water thing started in the poorer countries behind the iron curtain when I was there.As a kid we always drank tap water and with today's technology it's probably moar fit than ever to drink. I did have a filter on my tap to get rid of the cholrine smell. but that would evaporate if left uncovered.Infrastructure spending was minimum and systems were old and not maintained well. Water purification was not the best, so people drank bottled water and tap water was for bathing, laundry, dishes and sparky, not for people. Not that you would die if you drank it.

In reply to by DocMims

Lucretius DocMims Sat, 08/19/2017 - 18:47 Permalink

Been on mine for 17 years, I never liked water, till I tasted fresh untreated well water. I try and drink a gallon a day, but it's hard, coffee, beer, and evening cocktail somehow get in the way! Feel sorry for folks on municipal poison systems, though not so much for tards that pay for snob stuff!

In reply to by DocMims

GUS100CORRINA pods Sat, 08/19/2017 - 11:27 Permalink

"Colossal Fraud": Lawsuit Accuses Poland Spring Of Selling GroundwaterMy response: ROFL!!!! People have been so deceived for decades.Has anyone looked at the PRICE of WATER as compared to OIL (OR GASOLINE) lately? I guarantee it will shock you. By the way, this is why PEPSI bought Topicana (Pepsico to Pay $3.3 Billion For Tropicana) and COKE bought Minute Maid.It is all about the WATER!!!!

In reply to by pods

Lumberjack GUS100CORRINA Sat, 08/19/2017 - 11:51 Permalink

Enron tried to secure the water, wind and mineral rights in Maine. They went under and their former executives formed new companies to continue that practice including innumerable shell and shelf llc's.

Most of this crap eminates from Boston, NY and California....I've referred it here at ZH as Obama's war on Maine. This also demonstrates how certain states can eliminate the rights of others by brute force.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Massachusetts-pushing-ahead-wit…

http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/08/16/more-than-100-people-ask-if-mass…

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/08/02/con-ed-proposes-new-wind-farms-tr…

https://www.rtoinsider.com/hydro-quebec-clean-energy-46741/

http://nawindpower.com/proposed-project-bring-wind-northern-maine-boston

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

Justin Case pods Sat, 08/19/2017 - 14:37 Permalink

Evidently Alzheimer's Disease came along after people started using aluminum cookware. Isabel Jansen, R.N., wrote of a simple experiment regarding the use of aluminum pots, where it's easily proven that the aluminum and the fluoride content in water, both increase dramatically.No floride in EU countries

In reply to by pods

Mazzy chunga Sat, 08/19/2017 - 12:11 Permalink

Quite the opposite.  Tort reform would help individuals and small businesses.  Therefore it won't be allowed to happen.Big corps simply LOVE a clogged and convoluted court system designed for navigation by thousand dollar an hour kike lawyers and their bought and paid for "judges". 

In reply to by chunga

chunga Mazzy Sat, 08/19/2017 - 12:35 Permalink

Could be. I remember the one with the lady at McDonald's suing over the hot coffee spilled in her lap. They made her the face of frivolous lawsuits, and I believed it also.The emphasis was placed on her carelessness and money-grubbing. A fact that was not talked about much was McDonald's policy of keeping their coffee at a higher temp than industry standards.It was so hot it literally burned her ass off and she had to have multiple skin grafts because her skin and clothing melted together. 

In reply to by Mazzy

Utopia Planitia chunga Sat, 08/19/2017 - 13:55 Permalink

Guess what?  The temperature of boiling water is entirely dependent upon the local barometric pressure.  Meaning depending on your altitude above (or below) sea level the boiling temperature of water varies significantly.  The normal changes in local barometric pressure (i.e., weather) also have a minor effect on the temperture of water at the boiling point.  Unless you use an absolute pressure chamber you cannot control the temp at which water boils.  So they could (conceivably) put the McDonald's in a pressure vessel so the coffee temperature could be controlled.  So perhaps they can OUTLAW coffee except at locations that are at a particular altitude (actually at a particular absolute pressure...).  "That will be $897.15 for that cup of Joe, bro!"Must not have been enough chaos going on already for those folks.  "Hey, Let's make some more!!!"

In reply to by chunga

chunga Utopia Planitia Sat, 08/19/2017 - 14:18 Permalink

Oh gosh, we're just not gonna agree here. WHy don't you go right ahead and take the mixing valve element off your water heater if ypu don't thing scald burns aren't worth trying to prevent you dope. There's a t-stat right on the pot you banana. McDonalds lied through the whole thing, their temps were very high, they lowered them, they settled, case closed. Go look it up.Watch the fucking movie, the car company, the brakes.

In reply to by Utopia Planitia