The plaintiffs say the famous Poland Spring in Poland Spring, Maine, ran dry almost 50 years ago - decades before Nestle Waters bought the Poland Spring brand name. The spokesperson's statement added that Poland Spring water was 100% spring water and meets regulations set forth by the FDA that define what is spring water along with state and federal regulations that govern the same.
In 2003, the company was sued, also in CT, because its advertising suggested that the water in Poland Spring came from a source deep in the woods of ME when, in fact, the principal source was located near a parking lot.
"Such a spring would be plainly visible - more like a geyser than a spring - and undoubtedly well known", plaintiffs' attorney Craig Raabe says in the 325-page complaint.
The class claims Nestle has gone so far as to fake the existence of springs on its sites "by causing well water to flow artificially through pipes or plastic tubes into wetlands that contain no genuine springs". "We remain highly confident in our legal position".
"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", the lawsuit continues.
In what they are calling a "colossal fraud", 11 plaintiffs in eight states are claiming that Nestle's Poland Spring, which markets itself as "100% Natural Spring Water" is not 100 percent natural, and that it fails to meet the federal definition of spring water.
Poland Spring has gotten away with this deception, the suit claims, by co-opting state regulators and interweaving its interests with those of state government.
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"It has never been proven to exist, and the evidence that defendant itself filed with ME regulators shows it does not exist", the complaint states.
The suit makes similar claims about Poland Spring water sources in Hollis, Fryeburg, Denmark, Dallas Plantation, Pierce Pond Township and Kingfield, Maine.
The court complaint further says that the Maine Drinking Water Program scientist who approved numerous 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.
The bottled water drinkers said Poland Spring in Poland Spring, Maine, has been dry for nearly 50 years. But the lawsuit, seeking at least $5 million in damages, claims Nestle's wells are unconnected to a natural spring, which "has never been proven to exist", reports Consumerist.
Nestle has also had trouble in other areas of the USA, as bottled water out sells soda as the most popular drink in the United States and as it searches for other new sources of water. The company did not agree with the claims, but paid $10 million in discounts and contributions to charity.
Nestle is seeking state approval to source water from a public water district well in Lincoln.