Poland Spring throws cold water on class-action lawsuit

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Poland Spring’s parent company on Friday asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses the company of providing water that’s sourced from wells, not springs.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Nestle Waters North America contends the matter was already litigated in 2003 in Illinois and that a federal court can’t pre-empt a state court. That case ended with a $12 million settlement and Poland Spring continuing to tout “100 percent natural spring water.”

The corporate parent also says the plaintiffs should take up the matter with the Food and Drug Administration instead of turning to the courts.

The original lawsuit filed in Connecticut and a similar one in Maine contend the water that’s bottled by Poland Spring comes from wells or municipal sources, not the bubbling springs depicted on the label.

Poland Spring says its product meets the FDA’s definition that allows a bottling company to call its product “spring water” if it is drawn from the same source as a natural spring and meets certain requirements for chemical composition.

A letter from the state’s senior environmental hydrologist in August confirmed that all eight of Poland Spring’s water sources meet the FDA definition of spring water. The Maine Drinking Water Program implements the FDA rules governing spring water.

Alix Dunn, spokesperson for Nestle Waters, said consumers can be confident “in the accuracy of the labels on every bottle of Poland Spring.”

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