Almost everyone has an opinion about bottled water. They either drink nothing but the stuff, think it’s one of the greatest hoaxes ever pulled off or buy only when it’s convenient. According to an August 2017 article from the New York Post, a recently-filed lawsuit targets Poland Spring Water as deceiving consumers. Despite the labeling on the water bottles that touts “100 percent natural spring water” sourced in Maine, the lawsuit filed in Connecticut claims that this is deception. That’s because, according to the Post, Nestle Waters North America is actually putting “common groundwater” into the bottles of Poland Spring and that water does not meet federal guidelines to be considered spring water. This case is an interesting development to consumers’ right lawyer Jeffrey Benjamin, who says that sheer number of those affected could result in a massive class action lawsuit if this moved any further in the courts.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit claims, “Not one drop of Poland Spring Water emanates from a water source that complies with the Food and Drug Administration definition of ‘spring water’” and even alleges that “the famous Poland Spring … ran dry nearly 50 years ago.” In response to the allegations raised in the lawsuit, a spokeswoman for the company said that the suit is “without merit” and represents an “obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain.”
These are bold claims, says attorney Jeffrey Benjamin, a seasoned trial lawyer who has worked hard in the courtroom to secure favorable verdicts and who declines pick sides on an issue that he isn’t trying in court. It’s well within the right of the 11 plaintiffs who’ve signed onto this case to makes these claims and see how far it goes in court. While there’s no specific mention of the damages sought, the lead plaintiff claims that has spent “hundreds of dollars” on Poland Spring water since 2003. This could have been avoided, the Times report claims, if he had known that the product was “was ordinary groundwater.”
Mr. Benjamin has argued many consumers’ rights cases during his decades of practicing law. Certain cases that have resulted in successful verdicts and settlements include false advertising, breach of contract, deceptive practice, collections claims, federal law violations, predatory lending, identity theft and alleged violations of state-level deceptive practice and consumer fraud laws. While the resolution of the Poland Spring suit is a long way off, Mr. Benjamin notes that he and fellow members of his practice often go up against lawyers with endless resources – Nestle Waters North America is one such example. Regardless, Mr. Benjamin advises potential clients to fight for their legal rights and call out fraud when they see it.