Spring water or groundwater? Nestle denies it’s faking water source for Poland Spring as lawsuit stays live

Nestlé stood by its spring water designation for its signature bottled beverage even as a judge ruled that a lawsuit could proceed accusing the company of selling groundwater labeled Poland Spring.

Consumers in eight states are suing Nestlé Waters North America for allegedly diluting its spring water with regular groundwater.

The 325-page suit alleges that “not one drop” of Poland Spring water actually comes from a spring, reported NBC News, especially since the spring of the same name in Maine dried up 50 years ago.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges, the company uses water from wells that constitute “phony, man-made ‘springs,’ ” NBC News said, adding that some of those are near former landfills rather than flowing through pristine forests.

The plaintiffs are from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut. It demands a permanent injunction barring the company from claiming that Poland Spring is from a spring, NBC News said, as well as unspecified damages.

Nestlé had sought to get the case dismissed, according to Reuters.

“This lawsuit seems to be another attempt to rehash an old debate about the proper use of the term ‘spring water,’ ” Nestlé said in a FAQ on its website.

The water meets all federal regulations for the definition of spring water, the company said.

“Nothing in the Court’s recent decision undermines our confidence in our overall legal position,” the company said in a statement responding to the ruling. “We will continue to defend our Poland Spring® brand vigorously against this meritless lawsuit.” 

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