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Poland Spring in hot water after class action lawsuit

Did you know that the Food and Drug Administration has guidelines that define how "spring water" is obtained and sold? It's true, and this is a central premise of a bizarre yet interesting lawsuit involving Poland Spring Water, which is the best selling bottled water in the country.

According to a class-action lawsuit filed against Nestle Waters North America -- the parent company of Poland Spring Water -- the company is selling groundwater to customers as opposed to the natural spring water that they advertise. A quote from the claim makes their case clear: "Not one drop of Poland Spring Water emanates from a water source that complies with the Food and Drug Administration definition of 'spring water' ... the famous Poland Spring in Poland Spring, Maine, which defendant's labels claim is a source of Poland Spring Water, ran dry nearly 50 years ago."

In order for spring water to meet the requirements of the FDA, it must be collected from an underground source that flows naturally to the Earth's surface. This lawsuit will go a long way in setting standards for bottled water companies, which have allegedly been operating with minimal oversight.

Whether that is true or not, the point of this post is to examine the damage that can be done to a company's reputation simply by filing a lawsuit like this. The claims made against Poland Spring Water could forever ruin their reputation as a company. If people can't trust the source of the water, whether the claims are true or not, it could directly impact their bottom line.

Source: Washington Post, "'Not one drop' of Poland Spring bottled water is from a spring, lawsuit says," Abha Bhattarai, Aug. 22, 2017

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