(Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday dismissed Nestle SA's bid to reject a revised trial claiming that it cheated consumers by filling bottles in their tap water from Poland with regular groundwater.
U.S. District Director Jeffrey Alker Meyer said consumers from eight northeastern states can claim claims that Nestle Waters North America tricked them into overpayment by labeling Poland as "100% Natural Spring Water".
New Haven, Connecticut-based judge allowed consumer claims from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. He said federal law prevented claims from Vermont consumers.
Nestle Waters had argued that there was "fraud" because its water met the various permit requirements. Judge Meyer had waived an earlier version of the trial in May in May.
"We are very confident in our legal position and continue to defend our brand for Poland in the spring strongly against this merciless trial," said a Nestle Waters spokesman in a statement on Thursday. "Poland Spring brand natural spring water is exactly what it says it is ̵
Lawyers for the plaintiff did not immediately respond to the request for comments.
According to the amended complaint, Nestle Waters sells 1 billion gallons of Poland in the spring of a year in the United States, and "not a drop" of its water "originates from a water source that qualifies as a genuine legal" natural spring "."
The actual Poland spring in Maine, as the defendant's labels said is a source of Poland's Spring Water, "commercially ran dry" nearly 50 years ago, the complaint said.
In his previous dismissal, Meyer said that the plaintiffs only attempted to enforce source water guidelines under federal food, drug and cosmetic laws, and that this foresaw their state law requirements.
But in Thursday's decision he said he was "convinced" that the plaintiffs were trying to show that Poland spring water did not make me
The case is Patane against Nestle Waters North America Inc. US District Court, District of Connecticut, No. 17-01381.